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How these Americans are coping with the pandemic’s financial fallout

The economy has recovered some of the jobs lost during the early weeks of the pandemic -- but that growth now seems to be slowing. Millions of Americans still don’t have work, with many now receiving less money in unemployment. To understand the detrimental impact of the pandemic on their lives and livelihoods, we asked our viewers to share their experiences. Here's some of what they told us.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    The economy is getting back some of the jobs lost during the start of the pandemic and the shutdowns that followed.

    But, as we reported at the top of the program, that job growth seems to be slowing. Millions still don't have work yet. And many have lost some financial aid and benefits.

    Given both of those problems, we wanted to hear from viewers about what you're dealing with right now.

    Here's what you — some of you told us.

  • D’Aaron Hart:

    My name is D'Aaron Hart.

  • Amy Scheide:

    My name is Amy Scheide.

  • Jason Williams:

    My name is Jason Williams.

  • Antonio Cruz-Martinez:

    My name is Antonio Cruz-Martinez.

  • Deanna Korrell-Hall:

    My name is Deanna Korrell-Hall.

  • D’Aaron Hart:

    The extra $600 in unemployment benefits was extremely helpful. I was able to spend a little extra on some groceries, you know, get a little bit more food to have.

  • Jason Williams:

    The standard unemployment wasn't going to cover our household bills. But then, when they gave us the extra $600 a week, that didn't replace my entire salary, but it was really, really close to what I made after taxes.

  • Amy Scheide:

    I own a catering company and bistro. We spend every moment trying to figure out how to make this dream stay alive and how to come out of it in a way where we will eventually be able to retire.

    It's emotionally exhausting.

  • Deanna Korrell-Hall:

    I have been fighting for unemployment for the weeks that I did not work, rather, the months that I did not work. And I have still yet to get money for that. It has taken us down to zero. Our — all of our accounts are zero now.

  • Antonio Cruz-Martinez:

    I have been a deejay for the last 10 years.

    I haven't received any federal COVID relief funds or any funds of any sorts. And I don't even know where to start, as a gig worker, like, on how to get money. The wait line for the unemployment is just so long. And having to sell things is one of the things that I have unfortunately had to resort to, which is ultimately very heartbreaking.

  • D’Aaron Hart:

    The extra $600 was — it ended July 31. And my lease agreement is up August 31.

    I have had to decide to move back in with my mom, which, luckily, she is totally fine with that. But it still is stressful, because I don't know what's next.

  • Jason Williams:

    The extra unemployment has been — yes, it's been awesome. But, if that goes too far down, we will definitely be back underwater.

  • Amy Scheide:

    The kinds of conversations that we have had to engage in since this began, both with customers and with staff and family, I have to come home, take a minute, breathe, steel myself, and then dial that phone, and hang up and sob.

  • Antonio Cruz-Martinez:

    If I don't find something like within the next, I guess, five to six months, then I will have nothing left.

  • Deanna Korrell-Hall:

    It's like, OK, I'm down to my change jars now, and I'm going to have to cash my change jars in. I'm going to have to recycle the metal that's sitting in my yard.

    I'm just worried that I'm not going to have enough money to just survive. It's not even to be able to do anything extra.

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