News
Mixed Findings in Q3 2011 ASLA Business Quarterly Survey
Quarterly numbers drop but long-term positive streak continues
2011-10-24

Washington, D.C., October 24, 2011 – After an optimistic second quarter, business activity dipped in the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) Business Quarterly survey for the third quarter of 2011. Despite the quarter-to-quarter decline, the findings reflect the seventh quarter in a row with the majority of landscape architecture firm leaders reporting stable or positive billable hours and inquiries for work. 

Approximately two-thirds of respondents reported stable or above billable hours (65.4 percent) and inquiries for new work (69.5 percent) for Q3 2011. In addition, 18.7 percent plan to hire in the upcoming quarter. The survey numbers declined from a strong Q2 2011 but are nearly identical to this time last year

“We continue to see mixed reports from the field. Pervasive uneasiness and economic uncertainty still exert downward pressure on the industry, but many firms also report new client opportunities for the first time in years,” said ASLA Executive Vice President and CEO Nancy Somerville, Hon. ASLA. “Unfortunately we don’t anticipate this business climate significantly changing in the short term.”

The survey also asked about broad practice areas of landscape architecture firms. The top responses were housing and community design (66.2 percent), parks and recreation (64.9 percent), water resources and stormwater management (43.1 percent) and transportation (42.5 percent). 

 2011 3Q BQ Graph
Compared to the second quarter 2011, your third quarter 2011 billable hours were:
Significantly higher (more than 10%) – 10.2%
Slightly higher (5 to 10% higher) – 22.2%
About the same (plus or minus 5%) – 33.0%
Slightly lower (5 to 10% lower) – 20.7%
Significantly lower (more than 10%) – 13.9% 

Compared to the second quarter 2011, your third quarter 2011 inquiries for new work were:
Significantly higher (more than 10%) – 8.5%
Slightly higher (5 to 10% higher) – 27.2%
About the same (plus or minus 5%) – 33.8%
Slightly lower (5 to 10% lower) – 15.4%
Significantly lower (more than 10%) – 15.1%

Year to year, compared to the third quarter in 2010, your third quarter 2011 billable hours were: 
Significantly higher (more than 10%) – 14.0%
Slightly higher (5 to 10% higher) – 25.0%
About the same (plus or minus 5%) – 21.3%
Slightly lower (5 to 10% lower) – 20.4%
Significantly lower (more than 10%) – 19.2%  

Year to year, compared to the third quarter in 2010, your third quarter 2011 inquiries for new work were: 
Significantly higher (more than 10%) – 12.6%
Slightly higher (5 to 10% higher) – 26.5%
About the same (plus or minus 5%) – 27.7%
Slightly lower (5 to 10% lower) – 16.6%
Significantly lower (more than 10%) – 16.6% 

Do you plan on hiring any employees in the fourth quarter of 2011 (multiple answers)?
Yes, we’ll be hiring an experienced landscape architect – 5.4%
Yes, we’ll be hiring an entry-level landscape architect – 4.2%
Yes, we’ll be hiring an intern – 2.4%
Yes, we’ll be hiring support staff – 3.0%
Yes, we’ll be hiring other design/architecture/engineering staff – 4.5%
Yes, we’ll be hiring other staff – 3.6%
No, we’re not currently hiring – 81.3%

Does your firm work in the following areas? 
Housing and community design – 66.2%
Transportation planning and design – 42.5%
Water resources and stormwater management – 43.1%
Parks and recreation – 64.9%
Health care and therapeutic design – 29.8%
Historic preservation – 24.0%
Security design – 8.3%
Not applicable – 15.1% 

About the Survey 
The ASLA Business Quarterly survey asks quarterly benchmarks on key statistics including billable hours, inquiries and hiring plans. The Q3 2011 national survey was fielded October 5 through 19, with 333 firm representatives responding.




contact

Karen T. Grajales
Manager, Public Relations 
tel: 1-202-216-2371
ktgrajales@asla.org
@ktgrajales

share this
Join Button