Pandemic taking staggering toll on US jobs

Nearly 3.3 million people filed unemployment claims in one week, four times more than at any other point in U.S. history.
2:52 | 03/26/20

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Transcript for Pandemic taking staggering toll on US jobs
And the staggering toll on American families, even if it's not your health, it's your job. Millions of workers without a job in this country, and this number today, and it was historic. Nearly 3.3 million Americans applying for unemployment benefits in just one week. So, when is the help coming? Here's Jonathan Karl with answers tonight. Reporter: The coronavirus pandemic is taking a staggering toll on American jobs. Nearly 3.3 million filing unemployment claims in one week. When I heard the number, I mean, it heard it could be 6 million, 7 million. It's 3.3, or 3.2. But it's a lot of jobs. But I think we'll come back very strong, the sooner we get back to work. Reporter: The pain is widespread, as revealed in our new poll, 1 in 3 Americans say they or an immediate family member have been laid off or lost their job as a result of the pandemic. And more. Half of all surveyed report a cut in pay or work hours. This morning, the treasury secretary said the staggering number of new jobless claims will be a temporary phenomenon. To be honest with you, I just think these numbers right now are not relevant, and whether they're bigger or smaller in the Reporter: Barbara bridges was laid off from her job as a sales manager at hotel in San Antonio. Her biggest challenge now? How she's going to cover her $3,000 a month medical expenses. There's thousands of us in the same situation and we're just trying to stay as positive as possible, but it's definitely scary. Reporter: The $2 trillion recovery package is now headed for a final vote tomorrow, paving the way for payments to American families. That include us $1,200 payments, plus $500 per child to individuals earning up to less than $75,000 a year. Those earning up to $99,000 will get a smaller check. And the checks would begin going out at the end of the first week of April. For millions of Americans, that help can't come fast enough. Devonne moysee, a single mother of five in North Carolina, was about to take a new job when the crisis hit. She has no savings. Without any way to have an income or to make money, we're just sitting here pretty much devastated and hoping that the situation, this nightmare, will end. And we'll continue with these stories every night here. Jon, we know the U.S. Has now surpassed China and Italy, the number of diagnosed cases. We reported that at the top and the president late today talking about getting people back to work, parts of this country back open? Reporter: He's clearly eager to see these restrictions lifted. And today, he was talking again about the idea of seeing the restrictions lifted in parts of the country that have not been hit hard or not as hard as new York or California or Washington state by coronavirus, but of course, David, it's hard to know where this virus is going to appear next. No question some difficult days ahead. Jon, thank you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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