The Royal Institute of British Architects announced the March 2010 results from its monthly Future Trends Survey, established in January 2009 to monitor business and employment trends affecting the architecture profession.
March's results present a similar picture to February's, with very little change in terms of workload, staffing, underemployment, and predictions across all work sectors. The number of practices expecting workload to increase dropped 4% from 38% in February to 34% in March. The number of practices expecting staffing levels to increase stayed constant at 7% in February), although the number of firms expecting staff levels to decrease dropped by 3% (13% in March, compared to 16% in February). 28% of respondents stated that they were personally underemployed in March; same as in February.
The survey revealed practices to be less optimistic about forecasted workload predictions across the commercial and public sectors; 18% of practices expected commercial work to increase in March, compared to 21% in February, and more practices expected workload to decrease (18% in March 14%, compared to in February). Predictions for increased work within the public sector also dropped, with 11% of practices predicting an increase in March, compared to 15 % in February, and a drop in the number of practices predicting a decrease (28% in March, and 21% in February). The private housing sector reported slightly more optimistic results, with 33% of practices predicting an increase in workload in March, compared to 31% in February. 14% of practices expected a drop in workload in February, compared to 13% in March 2010.
The statistical analysis of the survey enables the RIBA to regularly report on two key confidence tracking indices relating to future workloads and staffing levels. For March 2010, the RIBA Future Trends Workload Index is +14 (compared to +18 in February 2010) and the RIBA Future Trends Staffing Index is -6 (compared to -9 in February 2010).