Copier Careers® Poll Results & Comments

Poll: What is Your Current Employment Status?

Most Are Still Employed in Industry

In June, we saw the national unemployment rate decline encouragingly. So we wanted to know the average employment status for our industry, specifically. We had another record-breaking turnout this month, taking in a whopping 19,533 votes!

Most of you (57%) are still employed in some capacity – 46% are still full-time and 11% are part-time. 20% of you are furloughed (please see our explanation below).

23% of you are fully unemployed this month. 13% of you are unemployed, #readytowork and on the job hunt. The remaining 10% of you are waiting – that may be because of health concerns, limited options in your market or just pandemic burnout. Whether you’re ready to get back out there or not, we do recommend dusting off your old resume and keeping an eye on job listings. Even baby steps can make it easier to move to a better situation.

What Does Furlough Even Mean?

Historically, furloughs are not commonly used in the Copier Channel – they are used more often in manufacturing, retail and airlines. So this is likely the first time many industry professionals (both employers and employees) have had to navigate this employment grey area. And you’re not alone, CNBC reports that Google searches for, “What does furlough mean?” increased more than 5,000% in April alone.

As Business Insider puts it, “an employee furlough is when employers require their staff to take unpaid leaves of absence. In other words, they won’t work, they won’t get paid, but they’ll still technically be employed.” The significant difference between a furlough and a layoff is that a furlough is intended to be temporary while a layoff is permanent. The duration of your furlough and whether you retain your health benefits, etc. is determined by your employer. Whether you qualify for unemployment benefits is determined by your state. Every situation is unique, as you will see in the comments below.

Here are the full results:

What is your current employment status?

  • Employed, full-time (46%, 8,963 Votes)
  • Employed, furloughed (20%, 3,938 Votes)
  • Unemployed, job hunting (13%, 2,612 Votes)
  • Employed, part-time (11%, 2,093 Votes)
  • Unemployed, waiting (10%, 1,927 Votes)
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Some comments from y’all:

  • “Ready to go back to work. Even with being furloughed, our company has been good to us. Keeping us at full-time status and full benefits and such. On the days we are working, we have been extremely busy. I really don’t want to be looking for a job elsewhere but if I’m not back to full time in the next couple weeks, I will be moving on. I don’t want a part time job.”
  • “‘Thank you, COVID-19,’ signed, a Federal Government Account Executive. Crushing it!”
  • “Many production print & solution providers are offering voluntary retirement Programs (VRP) to their workforce due to economic instability of COVID-19.”
  • “As furloughed techs, we lose even more than regular office workers. We usually have to buy or maintain a certain type of vehicle for work and now we’ve lost that car base-pay. But my car payments to the bank don’t stop.”
  • “People who are furloughed should be getting courtesy updates every two weeks, at least! Especially if they work for a big OEM. That would be the professional thing to do but I can tell you that my company isn’t checking in with us at all.”
  • “Management can’t plan for the future. Don’t know what will happen next week.”
  • “Wasn’t sure how to answer because I am furloughed and waiting with no end in sight. No unemployment compensation available [this depends on your state – some states offer unemployment to furloughed workers]. I work in a tourism dependent market.”
  • “Employed full time (for the moment). The spike in COVID-19 cases has stirred some talk about another shut down. I’m uncomfortable with the uncertainty.”
  • “Looking for dealership to open doors 100%, then back at it!!!!”
  • “By the grace of God, our direct channel company hasn’t furloughed or laid off any service personnel. They have cut back on many other things such as advertising on national television, sports marketing and a temporary freeze on all merit increases. All of us are just thankful that we’re still getting a paycheck every two-weeks. Hang in there everyone. Things will be better eventually.”
  • “Employed, furloughed and searching.”
  • “I’m still on unemployment, furloughed, hoping to be called back to work… P.S. I’m still waiting to get my unemployment check – I live in NJ.”
  • “Disabled/Retired”
  • “Mostly working from home, in the office only couple times a month.”
  • “Furloughed (which I figure makes me essentially unemployed) but expecting a job offer with a different company in the next few days.”
  • “24 hours per week, plus $785 from unemployment – I’m actually financially better off now than before COVID-19. Hoping to be back full-time after July as it’s getting busy and 24 hours just isn’t enough time to take care of my customers.”
  • “Employed for now but I think my branch will be closing soon. Proactively looking. When times get tough you learn a lot about who you work for.”
  • “The novelty of working from home has worn off… I think companies want their employees to come back.”
  • “Furloughed since May 1, return to work August 3rd, but I don’t see our industry just going back to normal because many companies are realizing that WFH is viable, profitable and sustainable. The transition of virtual work started years ago, but has progressed at a snail’s pace. COVID has accelerated that 100-fold and the equipment we sell and service is going to reflect that shift. I have other skills, but I worry about the ‘break/fix’ techs who haven’t embraced the IT aspect of our job. The new normalcy will be much more virtual and the ‘tactile sensation’ generations will be fading into the sunset much more quickly as digital documentation becomes the norm, not the exception. Get prepared guys, it’s coming sooner than you realize. Stay safe and healthy my fellow toner jockeys.”
  • “Getting only 20 hours a week.”
  • “20% cut in hours so I am at the very low end to considered full-time.”
  • “I’m 57 with over 30 years with an OEM. I took the early separation package – never been happier, never going back.”
  • “I found working from home as tech support allows me to get more done as far as helping clients, doing remote work, etc. Instead of driving a couple hours each day, I am helping people. It also gets away from office politics and constant interruptions.”
  • “My company laid of 20% due to COVID.”
  • “For better or worse I’m essential to my company. Every day I have to go to the office and put in my 8+ hours. With our biggest account being a major hospital system we had plenty of work. My department lost people to furloughs but we kept chuggin’ along.”
  • “I got canned.”
  • “I think COVID became a convenient reason for companies to get rid of well-paid, senior people. I have been with my company for over 25 years. They got rid of the senior people and kept the younger, lower-paid technicians. Who is going to hire a senior technician even with all their experience? They would rather hire two or three junior techs for the same salary. Even if it requires multiple visits to a customer to repair a problem a senior tech could resolve in minutes. It’s a shame.”
  • “I was furloughed since May 16 with a promise to return by July 31. Today is 18 July and I got a phone call that I have now since been laid off effective August 3rd.”

Missed our July poll? Participate in our current poll in the sidebar or current newsletter!