American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) has recently released the results of their third quarter 2013 Business Quarterly survey with billings and inquiries for work drop and hiring plans on hold. Year on year results see an overall improvement with 84.7 percent claimed stable to significantly higher third-quarter inquiries from potential clients for new project work. Fully 80.6 percent of firm representatives responding indicated stable to higher billable hours in the third quarter of 2013, representing a slight drop from 82.8 percent last quarter. Inquiries showed a retreat, with some 78 percent reporting stable to higher inquiries for work, compared to 83.5 percent last quarter. It will be interesting to hear how the industry is fairing during the business roundtables at ASLA Meeting/Expo in Boston next week.
The results give an interesting picture of the industry, but is the retreat due to less work, the government shutdown or the ebbs and flow of the seasonal nature of landscape architecture work. Also the similar numbers were shown in AIA (American Institute of Architects) recent Architecture Billings Index which was up in September with the ABI score at 54.3, up from a mark of 53.8 in August. However, the ABI also showed that new projects inquiry index was 58.6, down from the reading of 63.0 the previous month.
ASLA also surveyed firms about their use of social media and it seems as many firms use social media for research and connecting with clients but only 19.8% collecting data about how their social media presence and interaction is faring.