I've been musing a bit on the state of the profession lately (I'm supposed to be working on final projects, so naturally, I'm thinking about something else).
I've heard anecdotal accounts of firms that went from 20 or 25 employees down to 2 or 3. I've heard of firms even closing up shop completely. I've heard people in the profession estimate unemployment among LAs anywhere from 15% to 35% (a few even as high as 50% but that seems like hyperbole to me). At any rate, it's bad
So, I'm interested in finding out what the employment picture really is. ASLA doesn't track this, neither does the Bureau of Labor Statistics. At least, not in enough detail, nor often enough, to get a picture of how our profession is doing during this downturn. Does anyone have any suggestions of where to find good indicators of how bad a beating our profession is really taking?
Also, (given that there isn't likely going to be that much real data on this) I'm interested in 'cataloging' the downturn so to speak. I'd like to gather people's estimates of what has happened. To wit:
- Of the LAs you know, how many lost their jobs after the economy went bad?
- How many were practicing before the downturn, but are not right now?
- How many of those who are practicing today are underemployed? Moderately or severely underemployed?
- As for firms, what have you seen happen to them in the downturn?
- How bad have the layoffs been in the firms that you know of?
- Do you know of any that have closed their doors entirely?