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US downturn sees 41% drop in architects' billings

US architecture practices have seen revenue plummet dramatically since the economic downturn began in early 2009, according to research

The 2012 American Institute of Architects Firm Survey showed billings dropped by 41 per cent from 2009 to 2011.

The drop was well in excess of the 26 per cent drop in the construction industry as a whole, and came despite a 6 per cent rise in the performance of the US economy.

Architecture’s demise was all the starker when set against the 54 per cent rise the profession enjoyed from 2006 to 2008.

Employment has dropped by almost a third at US architecture practices during the recession.

The AIA says architecture has suffered a double blow as less building work is taking place, and that which survives is being done more quickly and cheaply.

An immediate end to US architects’ woes is not in sight.

The AIA’s Architecture Billings Index posted a reading of 45.9 for June 2012, where anything below 50 represents a decline in workloads from the previous month.

All regions and sectors saw a drop in activity in June.


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