The number of architects expecting future workloads to fall dropped from 44% to 34% in April

There has been a sharp drop in the number of architects expecting future workloads to fall, in the latest of the RIBA’s monthly state-of-trade surveys.

The survey found 34% of practices were expecting future declines in workloads in its April survey, compared to 44% the previous month. In addition more said they expected the amount of work coming in to rise, with 18% saying this, compared to 13% in March.

In another positive sign for the industry the number of practices reporting they didn’t have enough work to keep busy fell slightly, with 72% saying they had enough work, compared to 69% in March.

The survey comes on the back of a raft of economic and industry data suggesting the economy may be close to starting to recover.

However, not all of the data was positive, with the number of practices saying they were expecting to cut staff in the next three months still rising – from 31% to 35%. Nonetheless there was also a rise in the number of practices expecting to grow staff – from 2% to 8%.

Adrian Dobson, Director of Practice at the RIBA said: “The April Future Trends Survey portrays a modestly improving picture across a number of areas for practices, particularly in terms of forecasted workload. However he warned the job cuts in the industry seemed to be having a disproportionate effect on female staff. “Evidence from jobseeker’s allowance claimant statistics and recruitment agencies suggests that women may have been disproportionately affected by the recent wave of redundancies amongst architects, with potential implications for the medium-term gender balance of the profession,” he said.