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Fewer architects on dole despite spending cuts

The number of architects claiming unemployment benefits has fallen despite an increase in the total number of UK unemployed to 2.47 million

More than half of architects are on the dole compared with peak levels last August, when 2,055 were claiming.  The number of ‘officially’ out of work architects is now 1,125.

The drop marks the ninth consecutive monthly fall and comes despite a new wave of project cancellations and growing uncertainty over publicly funded schemes.

Lindsay Urquhart of Bespoke Careers said: ‘There’s definitely more work around. There’s a lot of contract [positions] but less so on the permanent side, which makes sense because people don’t want to commit.’

There is a growing trend for three to six months contracts and a demand for French-speaking designers, she said.

Architects’ unemployment however is 800 per cent higher than two years ago before the worst of the recession took bite, figures from the office for national statistics show.

The total level of UK unemployment rose in the three months to April by 23,000 to 2.47 million.

Readers' comments (2)

  • It would be interesting to see how many architects have actually been re-employed as architects, rather than moving careers. Architects by their very nature are a resourceful bunch, and highly unlikely to remain 'unemployed' for long, but the messages that we're getting back from colleagues in other practices is that things are still tough and people are still working reduced hours on a reduced salary, with very few new posts being created.

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  • I fear that the picture is much bleaker than this. Many architects I know refuse to "sign on" myself being one of them. I have been attempting to work independently after becoming exhausted during years in commercial practice and undertaking PFI projects which have left a generation of architects ill equipped with relevant practice experience or transferable skills. Fee's are so low for small projects within independent practice that I have been unable to pay myself for over 12 months while having projects which are taken to site and I am wholly supported by my partner... It has now reached a point where I do not see staying within the profession as sustainable, and that breaks my heart. It is sad to say, I am not alone.

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