One in five architects predict their future workload will fall while a quarter report being underemployed, according to the RIBA’s monthly survey of practices
Figures in the latest RIBA Future Trends Survey show a 4 per cent hike in practice pessimism over workloads, with anecdotal evidence suggesting this is linked to fear over planning delays and fee competition.
According to RIBA director of practice Adrian Dobson respondents to the survey reported a ‘general consensus that the situation remains very unpredictable’.
The percentage of practices predicting a drop in staff levels also rose from 12 per cent in March to 16 per cent in April.
Nevertheless, the number of practices expecting a rise in private sector housing workload rose by 3 per cent from 24 per cent in March to 27 per cent in April. In the commercial sector, 18 per cent of practices expected more work compared to 21 per cent in March.
Practices in London and the South of England remain ‘significantly more confident’ about their work prospects than those in the rest of the country, said Dobson.
Meanwhile, the number of out of work architects claiming unemployment fell below the 1,000 mark for the first time in more than three years last month, according to Nomis figures.
There are now 955 people signing on and stating their usual occupation to be architect.
Between March and April this year the number of male architects claiming dole fell by 70 while the number of women claiming decreased by just five.
The true scale of the problem is understood to be hidden by the fact many out-of-work architects fail to claim unemployment benefits.