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Architects’ dole queue contines to shrink

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The number of architects claiming unemployment benefit has fallen for the seventh month in a row, despite the overall number out-of-work people in the UK going up

There are currently 1,305 claimants stating their usual occupation to be architect, with the majority (1,295) seeking re-employment in the profession.

Last month, the number of those claiming the dole dropped to 1,385, a fall from 1,430 in February. The number of architects claiming benefit peaked in August 2009 at 2,055.

The latest figures come as the number of people out of work nationally in the three months to February rose to 2.5 million, the highest level in 15 years, according to the Office of National Statistics (Read the statistics.)

The total number of people claiming unemployment benefit fell 33,000 last month to 1.5 million.

 ‘The figures are good,’ said a specialist architectural recruiter. ‘But this is a slightly emotional subject for some architects seeing the figures going down but are still sitting at home without work.’

As the election approaches there is also concern over cuts in public sector spending. Workload predictions for the sector are falling to their lowest level since records began, the RIBA future trends survey has revealed.

The survey results for March, however, confirm that private housing is now seen as the most positive sector.

Practices in the north of England and in Northern Ireland are more pessimistic about future workloads than anywhere else in the UK.

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  • The drop in architects claiming unemployment benefit may also be due to their 6 month allowance to claim NI based enemployment benefit coming to an end. After this point a claim is means tested and so many qualified architects will not be eligible for payment and so will not carry on claiming. This suits the authorities as the figures on UB reduce and the picture looks rosier but this will leave a generation of architects lost in the wilderness and looking for work in the other fields...

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