Consulting (architecture, landscape, engineering) Firms across the global are starting to lay people off with some firms trying to hold out until after Christmas or New Year.
In the USA firms reports from Seattle Times, Daily Journal of Commerce(Portland) report hard times for firms with some already laying off staff as many local and international projects have come to a halt.
In the USA, Germany, UK, Australia and China firms have started laying off workers as developers and governments place holds on projects as credit becomes tighter and property sales take a dive. Some developers are diversifying into hotels and commercial developments but as business expansion slows and travel reduces it will be a matter of time before these dry up also.
Some firms are merging whether is pre-planned or a matter of desperate times is anyones guess although many firms seek mergers as it is the quickest way to grow revenue and their client base.
On the up side some firms are taking a more pro-active approach with asking staff to take salary cuts and taking the slow down as a good time to train up staff on IT skills and project management.
Many firms are taking a short term approach and lay off staff they may pay a bigger price in long term as they lose experienced staff with company knowledge and training who may not be willing to return or new staff not willing to take a chance.
With the current short term looking grim through 2009 we are sure to see many changes in the consulting services industry with failures, mergers and many leaving professional practice to enter academia.