Positive Momentum Returned for Landscape Architects in First Quarter

After some retreats, all measures in quarterly survey tick up

WASHINGTON — (BUSINESS WIRE) — April 30, 2012 — The first three months of 2012 showed progress for the landscape architecture profession compared to the previous quarter in the areas of hiring, billable hours, and new business inquiries, according to the Business Quarterly survey conducted by the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA). Some year-to-year data also support the improving trend.

Quarter to quarter, FQ 2012 saw 71.3 percent of firms reporting stable or improved billable hours, and 76.2 percent reported stable or improved inquiries for new work. Of these, 40.6 percent and 53.7 percent, respectively, reported the measures as slightly or significantly higher.

Year to year, more than three-quarters of respondents indicated stable or positive Q1 2012 growth in new business inquiries (76.2 percent), down very slightly from Q1 2011 (76.6 percent). They also reported returned growth in billable hours (71.3 percent), an increase from the 67.9 percent reported in the first quarter of last year.

Employment, too, thawed, with 28.2 percent indicating plans to hire compared to 24.7 percent in the previous quarter. This performance, however, is marginally weaker that the 32.5 recorded in first quarter 2011.

“The economic environment continues to challenge the profession, but the trends are headed in the right direction once more,” says Nancy Somerville, Hon. ASLA and executive vice president and CEO of ASLA. “It’s slow, but it’s positive.”

Compared to the fourth quarter 2011, your first quarter 2012 billable hours were:
Significantly higher (more than 10%) – 14.2%
Slightly higher (5 to 10% higher) – 26.4%
About the same (plus or minus 5%) – 30.7%
Slightly lower (5 to 10% lower) – 14.5%
Significantly lower (more than 10%) – 14.2%

Compared to the fourth quarter 2011, your first quarter 2012 inquiries for new work were:
Significantly higher (more than 10%) – 20.1%
Slightly higher (5 to 10% higher) – 33.6%
About the same (plus or minus 5%) – 22.5
Slightly lower (5 to 10% lower) – 12.1%
Significantly lower (more than 10%) – 11.7%

Year to year, compared to the first quarter in 2011, your first quarter 2012 billable hours were:
Significantly higher (more than 10%) – 17.4%
Slightly higher (5 to 10% higher) – 28.7%
About the same (plus or minus 5%) – 20.8%
Slightly lower (5 to 10% lower) – 16.4%
Significantly lower (more than 10%) – 16.7%

Year to year, compared to the first quarter in 2011, your first quarter 2012 inquiries for new work were:
Significantly higher (more than 10%) – 21.5%
Slightly higher (5 to 10% higher) – 32.3%
About the same (plus or minus 5%) – 20.5%
Slightly lower (5 to 10% lower) – 10.4%
Significantly lower (more than 10%) – 15.2%

Do you plan on hiring any employees in the second quarter of 2012 (multiple answers)?
Yes, we’ll be hiring an experienced landscape architect – 5.8%
Yes, we’ll be hiring an entry-level landscape architect – 9.5%
Yes, we’ll be hiring an intern – 8.8%
Yes, we’ll be hiring support staff – 2.7%
Yes, we’ll be hiring other design/architecture/engineering staff – 6.1%
Yes, we’ll be hiring other staff – 2.4%
No, we’re not currently hiring – 71.2%

Please choose the area of concentration that accounts for a majority of your firm’s revenue.
Residential – 22.0%
Commercial – 12.9%
Public – 22.6%
Multidisciplinary – 42.5%

About the Survey
The ASLA Business Quarterly survey asks quarterly benchmarks on key statistics including billable hours, inquiries and hiring plans. The Q1 2012 national survey was fielded April 9 through 20, with 301 primary firm contacts responding.



Contact:

American Society of Landscape Architects
Terry Poltrack, 202-216-7852
Email Contact
Twitter: @landarchitects




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