Architects in West of England and Wales report continued recovery

RIBA publishes May Future Trends Survey results 

The RIBA Future Trends Workload Index was down very slightly this month at +33, with confidence levels amongst our participating practices about the level of future workloads remaining very strong.

This recovery in confidence levels continues to be widespread across the whole of the UK, with Wales and the West topping the leader board in May 2014 with a balance figure of +49.

Similarly, in terms of practice size, small practices (1 – 10 staff) with a balance figure of +31, medium-sized practice (10 – 50 staff) with a balance figure of +57 and large-sized practices (51+ staff) with a balance figure of +20, are all reporting very positive balance figures for workload forecasts.

The private housing sector workload forecast, up to +38 in May 2014 from +33 in April 2014, the public sector workload forecast, up to +6 in May 2014 from +4 in April 2014, and the community sector workload forecast, up to +9 in May 2014 from +5 in April 2014, all increased this month.

The commercial sector workload forecast fell back slightly to +20 from +22 last month, but remains very much in positive territory.

RIBA Director of Practice Adrian Dobson said:

“Optimism about future workload increases continues to be driven by the strengthening of the private housing sector and the increase in commercial projects. A number of other specific markets also seem to be performing strongly, including the higher education sector.

Overall actual workloads are up approximately 10% on a year-on-year comparison basis.”

The RIBA Future Trends Staffing Index fell marginally this month, standing at +7 in May 2014 compared with +8 in April 2014. The great majority of practices (93%) expect their staffing levels to either stay the same or increase during the next quarter, and the Staffing Index remains very positive, as it has for some time.

This increased optimism of the future staffing levels forecast has not yet been realised in terms of a net increase in overall actual staffing numbers, although it is heartening that there has been an annual increase of 11% in the number of Part 1 and Part 2 students being employed by our participating practices.

ENDS

Notes to editors

  1. For further press information contact Howard Crosskey in the RIBA Press Office: 020 7307 3761 howard.crosskey@riba.org
  2. The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) champions better buildings, communities and the environment through architecture and our members.
  3. Completed by a mix of small, medium and large firms based on a geographically representative sample, the RIBA Future Trends Survey was launched in January 2009 to monitor business and employment trends affecting the architects’ profession.
  4. The Future Trends Survey is carried out by the RIBA in partnership with the Fees Bureau. Results of the survey, including a full graphical analysis, are published each month at: http://www.architecture.com/FindOutAbout/FutureTrendsSurvey/FutureTrendsSurvey.aspx - the survey will be available from 20 June 2014
  5. To participate in the RIBA Future Trends Survey, please contact the RIBA Practice Department on 020 7307 3749 or email practice@riba.org.  The survey takes approximately five minutes to complete each month, and all returns are independently processed in strict confidence
  1. The definition for the workload balance figure is the difference between those expecting more work and those expecting less. A negative figure means more respondents expect less work than those expecting more work.  This figure is used to represent the RIBA Future Trends Workload Index, which for May 2014 was +33
  2. The definition for the staffing balance figure is the difference between those expecting to employ more permanent staff in the next three months and those expecting to employ fewer. A negative figure means more respondents expect to employ fewer permanent staff.  This figure is used to represent the RIBA Future Trends Staffing Index, which for May 2014 was +7

 

Posted on Friday 20th June 2014
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