JulyAugust 2008
Industry News

Survey Says Landscape Architecture Business Remains Brisk, But Fewer
Firms Plan to Increase Staff

According to the latest survey data from the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), while the majority of landscape architects remained busy last quarter, fewer than three in 10 firms plan to hire in the short term.

The ASLA’s Business Quarterly reports that nearly 57 percent of landscape architecture firms reported average or above billable hours in the second quarter of this year, and just under 50 percent reported average or above inquiries during the same period – slightly above and below the previous quarter, respectively. However, the survey shows, only 29 percent of firms 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. However, tighter lending restrictions and overall economic fears have decreased some of the future pipeline of work – reflected in drop-off in firms planning to hire,” said Nancy Somerville, executive vice president and CEO of ASLA.

The ASLA Business Quarterly survey asks quarterly benchmarks on key statistics, including billable hours, inquiries and hiring plans. The national survey was fielded June 19 to July 3, with 304 firms responding. Some results from the survey are included below. For complete details, visit the ASLA’s website at www.asla.org.

Compared to last quarter, your billable hours are:

Well above average – 6.3%
Slightly above average – 20.9%
Right where they usually are, average –     29.5%
Slightly below average – 29.1%
Well below average – 14.2%

Compared to last quarter, your inquiries are:

Well above average – 3.7%
Slightly above average – 19.9%
Right where they usually are, average –     26.2%
Slightly below average – 33.9%
Well below average – 16.4%

Compared to the same quarter a year ago, your second quarter 2008 billable hours were:

Higher – 22.7%
About the same – 29.0%
Lower – 47.0%
Don’t know – 1.3%

Compared to the same quarter a year ago, your second quarter 2008 inquiries were:

Higher – 18.3%
About the same – 33.7%
Lower – 46.0%
Don’t know – 2.0%

Do you plan on hiring any employees in the upcoming quarter? (Check all that apply):

Experienced landscape architect –
Entry-level landscape architect –
Support staff – 8.6%
Intern – 5.0%
Other – 5.3%
Not hiring – 70.9% MD