RIBA publishes June 2014 Future Trends Survey results

Architects most confident in Scotland, the Midlands and East Anglia 

The RIBA Future Trends Workload Index increased this month, standing at +34 in June 2014 compared with +33 in May 2014. Confidence levels amongst RIBA practices about the level of future workloads remain very strong and widespread across the whole of the UK. Scotland tops the leader board in June 2014 with a balance figure of +50, closely followed by the Midlands and East Anglia (balance figure +48) and London (balance figure +42).

All sizes of practice are reporting positive balance figures for workload forecasts:  small practices (1 – 10 staff) with a balance figure of +28, medium-sized practice (10 – 50 staff) with a balance figure of +77, and large-sized practices (51+ staff) with a balance figure of +44.

There was little change in June’s workload forecast analysis by sector. The private housing sector (balance figure +33) and the commercial sector (balance figure +20) appear to offer the best prospects for increases in medium-term workloads, but all sector forecasts remain in positive territory.

RIBA Director of Practice Adrian Dobson said: “The biggest growth in actual workloads by value now appears to be occurring in the commercial sector, following a long period in which the private housing sector has tended to lead the way. This appears to be a country-wide trend.”

The RIBA Future Trends Staffing Index rose significantly in June, increasing to +16 compared with +7 in May 2014. This is the highest figure for the main staffing forecast since the RIBA Future Trends monthly survey began in January 2009. The great majority of practices (94%) expect their staffing levels to either stay the same or increase during the next quarter.

Although we have not yet witnessed a significant increase in actual overall staffing levels, there is growing anecdotal evidence of greater willingness to hire. RIBA Appointments has seen an 80% increase in positions advertised on www.ribaappointments.com in the year to date, and an even higher number via their agency service. According to Paul Chappell at RIBA Appointments “Architectural staff that have stayed in roles during the recession are now becoming more confident to test the market and those with the right experience are often receiving a number of job offers to choose from.”

In June 2014, the percentage of our respondents reporting that they had personally been under-employed this month was up slightly at 17%. This suggests that there remains spare capacity in the profession which is still constraining overall jobs growth.


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 23 July 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 June 2014 was +34
  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 June 2014 was +16


Posted on Wednesday 23rd July 2014