The latest Future Trends Survey, published by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), indicates both stability and optimism. The Future Trends Workload Index increased to +26, a rise of four balance points from August 2013, "building upon the steadily increasing positive trend" seen since the start of this year. The survey also shows evidence that "the growing optimism about an upturn in overall workloads is now widespread" throughout the UK.
All other sector forecasts "remained in positive territory" with both the private housing sector and commercial sector showing increases in their balance figures. Adrian Dobson, director of practice at the RIBA, said that "increased optimism about staffing levels are reinforced by the percentage of respondents reporting that they had personally been under-employed in the last month; down to 20%, the lowest figure since the survey began in January 2009." He added that "although there clearly remains over-capacity in the architects’ profession at present the situation appears to be gradually improving, suggesting that employment prospects for salaried architects may improve in 2014."
The monthly survey is designed to “monitor the employment and business trends affecting the architectural profession throughout the period of economic downturn,” the data from which is analyzed by both the RIBA and the Fees Bureau. It is a “representative sample of the range of different practice sizes and geographical locations” with 1,600 British Architects from 226 firms contributing.
Read the September 2013 report in full here (PDF).