Wednesday, July 16, 2008

ASLA: Landscape architects adding projects without people

One of the time-honored debates that A/E firms have wrestled with is whether it's better to add projects and look for people or hire people when you can and then chase down projects. Admittedly, it's a discussion more apropos for when times are good and the work is rolling in the door, but the people are hard to find. Of course, firms have wisely tightened their reins as the project pipeline has dried up, letting enough people go or easing back on hiring to the point where everyone is busy.

Those were the findings, in fact, of the latest Business Quarterly survey by the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA).

Fewer than three in 10 firms plan to hire in the short term, according to the survey. Almost 57 percent of landscape architecture firms reported average or above billable hours in Q2 2008 and just under 50 percent reported average or above inquiries during the same period--slightly above and below the previous quarter, respectively. However, only 29 percent plan to hire in the upcoming quarter, down from 38 percent previously.

"Landscape architects remain one of the few comparatively bright spots in the construction industry," says Nancy Somerville, ASLA executive vice president and CEO. "However, tighter lending restrictions and overall economic fears have decreased some of the future pipeline of work--reflected in the dropoff in firms planning to hire."

The Q2 2008 national survey was taken from June 19 to July 3, with 304 firms responding.

1 comment:

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