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Unemployed Americans face uncertain futures: "Am I going to be able to stay in this house?"

Americans open up about economic uncertainty
Inside the financial struggles caused by the coronavirus pandemic 02:46

Many of the nearly 3.3 million Americans who filed for unemployment last week are worried about paying bills and what comes after the coronavirus pandemic is under control.

Michelle Jarol, of Chicago, is normally focused on fitness. But these days the 42-year-old wife and mother of two is worried about her family's finances.

The studio where she works as a fitness instructor shut down last week. Her husband's pay has been cut, too.

"I'm very scared," she told CBS News correspondent Jericka Duncan.

The biggest bill her family is facing is their mortgage, Jarol said.

"Am I going to be able to stay in this house?" she said. "Knowing, you know, if I have credit card bills, car payments, all those things add up."

Jarol filed for unemployment for the first time on Monday. 

"It took over an hour to get my information in the system," she said.

It's a reality millions of Americans are now facing.

Nyiasha Johnson, 40, who worked as a security guard at Philadelphia International Airport, also filed for unemployment and is now trying to help her co-workers with that process.

"A lot of them are struggling and a lot of them are scared," she said. "It's overwhelming and frustrating because I do want to give them some type of closure because I know how I feel."

Closure is something that car club and restaurant owner Matt Bell said he's trying to get his employees.

"You're in the trenches with these people every day," he said. 

In 2017, Bell opened The Shop Club in Seattle. He was set to expand to Dallas this summer and double his staff, but because of coronavirus concerns, he laid off nearly 40 employees.

"I thought, 'What's the worst thing that can happen?' And you know, there's no way we could have anticipated how things have changed lately," he said.

Jarol, the fitness instructor, said she is worried about what will happen to her industry once the pandemic is under control. She said she's considering returning to her old job as a pharmaceutical sales representative, just so she can get back on her feet faster.

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