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Architects’ employment tops six year high

Architects in full time employment has surged to the highest level since 2007 however average earnings fell 2.7 per cent in the past year

According to new research, the number of UK architects in full time jobs has increased for the first time eight years and now stands at 22,100 the highest figure since 2007.

The RIBA and Fees Bureau Employment and Earnings Survey revealed full time employment increased from 80 per cent to 83 per cent between 2012 and 2013 while unemployment fell from four to two per cent.

Male architects in full time employment surged from 84 to 87 per cent while female full time architects increased from 63 to 69 per cent. Average under-employment meanwhile fell from 18 per cent in 2012 to 14 per cent.

Architects’ average earnings however fell 2.7 per cent from £41,100 to £40,000 per annum in the past year.

Sole principals saw income fall from £32,569 to £ 30,000 a year

The worst hit group was sole principals which witnessed a crushing 7.9 per cent decrease in income from £32,569 to £ 30,000 a year.

A surprise 11.5 per cent salary gain was experienced by private in-house architects who now take home on average £53,500 compared to £48,000 one year ago.

The employment findings are supported by a mid-term analysis of AJ100 practices compiled by Arturus partner Robert Guy which showed just under half of the UK’s leading studios had taken on new staff.

According to Guy, 47 AJ100 practices have taken on new staff since May 2013 while 30 studios stayed the same size and 23 outfits became smaller.

Recruiters have meanwhile reported a ‘major upturn’ in workloads at all sizes of practice.

Lucy Cahill of Bespoke said: ‘For the first time in a while the demand for architects is spread evenly across all sectors. We are also getting more clients willing to offer permanent positions straight away which shows an exciting confidence in the market.’

ADP chair Roger Fitzgerald said: ‘ADP has seen a steady improvement in workload over the past year, and we have taken on nine part 1 and part 2 students this summer.’  

Chris Williamson of London-based Weston Williamson added: ‘Optimism seems to be contagious. We have bought new bigger premises and have had interest in letting our existing offices from architects looking for additional space.’

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