For the first time since February 2010, architects are more optimistic about their commercial outlook, verified within every key indicator, including staffing levels, predicted workload, and across all sectors.
Findings from the Royal Institute of British Architects’ (RIBA) October Future Trends Survey have revealed that the number of practices expecting workload levels to decline dropped 6% and 2% more practices expected workload to increase in October.
Employment prospects for salaried architects also grew more optimistic, with 3% more architects expecting an increase in staff; and the number of practices expecting staff levels to drop fell 4%. Levels of underemployment saw an 8% drop.
All of the sector forecasts this month demonstrated increases, with the private housing sector forecast exhibiting the strongest rise to +4, moving back into positive territory; the commercial sector forecast now stands at -6, up from -10 last month. At -33 the public sector remains the most uncertain sector, with 39% of architects expecting public work to decline.
The statistical analysis of the survey enables the RIBA to regularly report on two key confidence tracking indices relating to future workloads and staffing levels. For October 2010, the RIBA Future Trends Workload Index is -6 (compared to -14 in September 2010) and the RIBA Future Trends Staffing Index is -8 (compared to -15 in September 2010).