Landscape Architecture Firms Report Subdued Conditions

According to the newest American Society of Landscape Architects’ Business Quarterly survey, business conditions flattened for landscape architecture firms during the first three months of 2017. Firms reported a dip in billable hours and hiring plans for the first quarter, while inquiries for new work picked up from the previous quarter.

However, a comparison of multiple years of survey results reveals that business conditions remain stable as firms enter the second quarter of 2017.

The survey found 75.84 percent reported stable to significantly higher billable hours, a drop from the 77.12 percent the previous quarter. This result is below what had been reported for the first quarters of 2016, 2015 and 2013. It is greater than first quarter results for 2014.

Some 85.39 percent answered that inquiries for new work were stable to significantly higher during the first quarter of 2017, up considerably from the 77.77 percent the previous quarter. This result outperforms what had been reported for the first quarters of 2016 and 2014. It is about the same as first quarter results for 2015 and 2013.

The survey found that year to year, some 76.27 percent of firms said that billable hours were stable to significantly higher. This result is higher than what had been reported for the first quarter of 2016, but below figures reported for 2015. It is about the same as year-to-year results reported for the first quarter of 2014 and 2013.

Year to year, some 84.09 percent indicated that first quarter inquiries for new work were stable to significantly higher. This result is a jump from the year-to-year results reported for the first quarter of 2016, 2015 and 2013. It is about the same as 2014.

The majority of firms with two or more employees (52.55 percent) say they plan to hire during the second quarter of 2017, a drop from the fourth quarter 2016 survey (57.33 percent). Some 77.77 percent of firms with 10 to 49 employees also say they will hire either an experienced landscape architect or an entry-level landscape architect.

More complete information about the survey results can be found on ASLA’s website.