The Royal Institute of British Architects’ (RIBA) Future Trends Survey for January 2016 has reported overall increases in predicted workloads and staffing for the New Year. Completed by a mix of small, medium, and large firms based on a geographically representative sample, the survey was launched in January 2009 “to monitor business and employment trends affecting the architects’ profession.”
The Future Trends Workload Index “bounced back strongly in January 2016, rising to +29 (up from +15 in December 2015). Increased workload optimism was shown across most of the UK, with the South of England (balance figure +38) showing particular strength, and only Scotland (balance figure -25) in negative territory."
According to the survey, large practices, meaning those of 51 or more staff, are the most positive about future work prospects, but small and medium practices also expect workloads to increase over the next three months.
“Private housing continues to be the primary growth area for the profession,” and the commercial and public sectors additionally saw uplifts, while the community sector “has not yet found positive ground.”
Furthermore, practices overall indicated that they are now employing three percent more staff than they were in January 2015, “suggesting a buoyant employment market for salaried architects.” Only two percent of practices expect to have fewer staff three months from now.
RIBA Executive Director Member Adrian Dobson noted, “The RIBA Future Trans survey commenced seven years ago, and from January 2009 to January 2013 it consistently recorded decreases in the overall value of architectural work in progress. However, we have now seen eleven quarters of continual workload growth, which despite some cooling off in its rate is nevertheless still a healthy 3% per annum."
Full results of the survey, including a graphical analysis, can be viewed here, and is updated each month.