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Optimism faltering according to RIBA Future Trends survey

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Hopes of a quick end to the recession are fading, according to the latest figures released by the RIBA

The institute’s Future Trends survey for August revealed that the number of practices expecting an increase in work over the coming months had dropped to just 22 per cent – a dramatic loss of confidence compared with the 31 per cent hopeful of blossoming workloads back in July.

The survey, which was set up in January this year to track business and employment trends during the downturn, also showed that the number of practices expecting to make job losses had gone up two per cent (from the July figures) to 15 per cent. Despite this, 80 per cent of those polled anticipated staff levels to ‘stay the same’ over the next three months, a small rise from 76 per cent in July.

Adrian Dobson, the RIBA’s director of practice said: ‘The trends from this month’s survey convey the current fragility of confidence in the architects’ profession.

‘The comments and anecdotal evidence submitted by our survey correspondents this month support some early evidence of recovery, but continuing nervousness among architects and reluctance of clients to confirm projects.’

Other figures collated by the RIBA showed that nearly a third of respondents – 30 per cent – said they were currently ‘personally under-employed’ – another marked rise from July (22 per cent). Meanwhile the statistics for student employment also make grim reading.

Each quarter the institute asks the practices in the survey, how many year our, or post Part 2, students they employed as a percentage of the number they employed 12 months ago. In August that figure was 50 percent compared with 55 per cent back in May 2009.

 

Future staffing levels

How do you think the number of permanent architectural staff employed in your organisation will change over the next three months?
  
  
Permanent Staff%
Decrease15
Stay the same80
Increase4
TOTAL100
Balance-11

 

Future workload

How do you expect the architectural workload in the organisation you work in, or own, to change over the next three months
  
Overall 
Expect%
Decrease15
Stay the same63
Increase22
TOTAL100
Balance7
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