The Royal Institute of British Architects' (RIBA) Future Trends Survey for March 2012 has revealed that practices are increasingly positive about their future workloads. The RIBA Future Trends Workload Index for March 2012 stands at +11, rising from +9 in February, maintaining an upward trajectory for the third month in a row.
The majority of UK nations and regions returned positive workload forecast balance figures in March; the two exceptions were the North of England and Northern Ireland.
Private housing continues to be the best-performing sector, with London, the South of England, the Midlands and East Anglia performing particularly well.
Despite hope of an export-led recovery, the percentage of work in progress that comes from overseas projects has now fallen to 2%, down from 9% in January 2009.
RIBA Director of Practice, Adrian Dobson, said:
'We are cautiously hopeful in reporting that for a third consecutive month, the RIBA Future Trends Workload Index has continued its upward path and now stands at +11. However, we remain concerned that despite hope of an export-led recovery, many practices are experiencing difficulties in finding new markets overseas for their services.
The RIBA remains committed to increasing its overseas presence and promoting British architecture and RIBA members across the world, with a particular focus on the faster growing 'BRIC' economies.'
The Future Trends Staffing Index for March 2012 is -2, rising marginally from -3 in February 2012. Overall staffing levels have clearly stabilised, but there is as yet no sign of significant recovery in the overall jobs market for salaried architects.
Notes to editors
- For further press information contact Howard Crosskey in the RIBA Press Office: 020 7307 3761.
- 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 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 - the survey will be available from 20 April 2012.
- To participate in the RIBA Future Trends Survey, please contact the RIBA Practice Department on 020 7307 3749 or email firstname.lastname@example.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 March 2012 is +11.
- 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 March 2012 is -2.