Washington, D.C., January 26, 2011 – The fourth quarter of 2010 represented a mixed bag for landscape architecture firms, as firm leaders reported fewer billable hours but increased hiring opportunities, according to the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) Business Quarterly survey. The findings echo the results from the 4Q 2009 survey, though billable hours, inquiries and hiring all strengthened from this time last year.
Six in 10 respondents reported stable or higher amount of billable hours (59.6 percent) and inquiries for new work (59.4 percent) in the fourth quarter of 2010 – a decline of six and ten points, respectively from the third quarter survey. At this time last year, 45.5 percent reported stable or rising billable hours, and 53.7 percent reported stable or rising inquiries.
Also like last year, the fourth quarter 2010 saw a modest increase in job opportunities for landscape architects. One in five (20.7 percent) respondents plan to hire in the upcoming quarter, up from 14.6 percent last quarter and 16.4 percent a year ago.
“Despite signs of recovery, continued layoffs, lowered fees, and strong competition for few projects made this past year one of the toughest on record for the industry,” said ASLA Executive Vice President and CEO Nancy Somerville, Hon. ASLA. “We’re confident that the worse of the recession is behind us, but improvement will be frustratingly slow.”
The survey also asked about firm work with federally funded projects. Overall, 40 percent of firm leaders indicated that they worked on projects that were partially or fully funded by the government within the past two years. One in ten (9.8 percent) respondents reported working on Green Project Reserve green infrastructure projects under the Stimulus Bill.
Read the full survey results here.