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Green shoots? Architect unemployment falls for fifth month

The total number of architects claiming unemployment benefit has fallen for the fifth consecutive month

There are now 430 architects claiming the dole according to the Office for National Statistics.

The number is the lowest since September 2008 and is less than a quarter of the peak of 2,055 out of work architects recorded in summer 2009.

A previous six month fall ended in July last year when the number of unemployed architects increased slightly. However since August 2013, when 600 were claiming dole, the figure has steadily declined.

The latest decrease came as overall UK unemployment fell again with the number of people now claiming unemployment benefit down to 7.1 per cent of the workforce.

There are now 2.32 million out of work people in the UK representing the lowest level since April 2009.

The figures for the profession fail to include the number of architects working in other jobs or not claiming benefits and therefore could show a more optimistic view than the current reality.

Furthermore, according to the most recent RIBA future trends survey, architects optimism fell slightly in December but only 10 per cent of UK practices expected workloads to reduce over the next quarter.

RIBA director of practice, Adrian Dobson said: ‘While a significant number of practices are seeing an upswing in both the levels of enquiries and work in progress there is little sign yet of any corresponding increase in general fee levels; achieving reasonable profit margins remains challenging for many.’

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