RIBA Future Trends Survey – outlook optimistic

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) announced its July 2009 results of its monthly Future Trends Survey, marking the start of the third quarter monitoring business and employment trends affecting the architecture profession.

The trends emanating from last month’s survey continue to highlight a steady return to some optimism; only 18 per cent of practices were expecting a decrease in workload, compared to 21 per cent in June. Practices predicting an increase in workload also rose from 31 per cent in June to 31 per cent in July, a further indication that practices continue to grow more confident about their work outlook. The number of staff that are currently underemployed also continued to decrease from 23 per cent in June to 22 per cent in July.

The most significant change in workload predictions has occurred within the public sector, which rose from just 16 per cent in June to 29 per cent in July. There was also an improvement in the commercial sectors, with expectations for growth steadily increasing from 13 per cent in June to 16 per cent in July. However, there was minimal change within the private housing sector, with workload predictions remaining constant at 24 per cent in June and July.

Changes in predictions for staff retention were positive overall, with 11 per cent of practices expecting staff levels to increase over the next three months, compared to 8 per cent in June. The number of practices expecting staff numbers to be cut decreased further from 16 per cent in June to 13 per cent in July; 76 per cent of all practices expected staff levels to remain constant over the next three months, which is a minimal increase from 75 per cent in June.

SOURCE: RIBA