RIBA Future Trends Survey results for July 2012

The latest results from the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) monthly Future Trends Survey illustrate the mixed fortunes in employment and workload experienced by architects working in different UK locations and sectors. The majority of UK architects predict no immediate improvement in their workload with the survey's overall future Workload Index for July 2012 standing at 0. Architects in London are the most optimistic about their future workload (reporting a balance figure of +10), while Scotland (balance figure -20) and Northern Ireland (balance figure -60) remain the most pessimistic.

The RIBA Future Trends Staffing Index increased to 0 in July 2012, rising from -2 in June 2012. Although on balance practices are predicting that they will be able to maintain current staffing levels there is little sign of any immediate prospects of growth in overall recruitment. July 2012 saw 26% of respondents reporting that they had personally been under-employed in the previous month.

RIBA Director of Practice, Adrian Dobson said:

'RIBA members continue to report intense fee competition and a lack of project financing. Although none of the Future Trends Survey’s individual sector forecasts are predicting growth in workloads over the next quarter, the high-end private residential market remains resilient in terms of work in progress, sustained by low interest rates and inward investment.

'The situation clearly remains very patchy with some practices describing conditions to be extremely challenging whilst others report full order books.'


Notes to editors

  • For further press information contact Howard Crosskey in the RIBA Press Office: 020 7307 3761 howard.crosskey@riba.org.
  • The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) champions better buildings, communities and the environment through architecture and our members.
  • 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
  • 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 architecture.com.
  • 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.
  • 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 July 2012 is 0.
  • 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 July 2012 is 0.