RIBA index shows staff busier than ever

Architects’ confidence about future work prospects is now at an all-time high.

The latest RIBA Future Trends Workload Index shows that the overall index climbed to +44 – the highest since the RIBA began compiling the data back in January 2009.

June’s figure is up on the +37 recorded the previous month with practices in the Midlands and East Anglia the most confident about workloads over the next three months, both recording a score of +51.

RIBA executive director members Adrian Dobson said: “The overall picture is of a profession that is confident about its future workloads and is beginning to feel the invigorating effects of a sustained period of real growth.

“Commentary suggests that many practices have a rapidly filling order book, with private housing continuing to be the primary driver of growth in demand for architects’ services.”

Large practices are most optimistic about upcoming workloads while private housing and commercial remain the sectors driving firms’ confidence.

Confidence about the public sector inched back into positive territory last month with a score of +2 – from May’s figure of -1.

Earlier this month, official figures showed that the number of architects on the dole is just 100 – the smallest since the Office for National Statistics (ONS) began including architects in its unemployment statistics back in January 2005.

And the RIBA survey underlined the ONS figures with its staffing index reaching a record high of +20 while just 9% of respondents reported that they had personally been under-employed – the lowest figure recorded since the Future Trends survey began.