ASLA 4th Quarter Business Survey
Key Survey Highlights
Washington, D.C., February 2--It's time once again for the ASLA Business Quarterly survey of key benchmarks, including billable hours, inquiries and hiring plans. ASLA indicates the survey is "not intended to be statistically significant," but rather "provides a snapshot of the landscape architecture industry." The Q4 2015 national survey was fielded January 7-21, 2016, with 288 primary firm contacts responding.
Landscape architecture firms experienced a fourth quarter dip in 2015, according to the latest American Society of Landscape Architects' Business Quarterly survey. Still, a comparison of this survey with fourth-quarter survey results from the last four years shows that the landscape architecture industry is actually holding steady--with a majority of respondents (83.9) stating that business conditions for 2015 were doing as good or better than during the previous year, and plans to hire were the highest recorded for a fourth quarter survey in five years.
The survey found that 74.47% reported stable to significantly higher billable hours, a drop from 83.4% the previous quarter. This result is similar to what had been reported during the fourth quarters of 2013 (75.7%) and 2014 (74.67%). It is higher than the fourth quarters of 2011 (62.6%) and 2012 (66.5%).
Some 71.73% said inquiries for new work were stable to significantly higher, another drop from 81.56 in the third quarter. However, it is a result similar to what had been reported during the fourth quarter of 2012 (74.2%), 2013 (74.4%) and 2014 (76.5%).
Year to year, 81.66% of firms indicated stable to significantly higher fourth-quarter billable hours, a slight decrease from the fourth quarter of 2014 (84.64%), but on par with the fourth quarter of 2013 (81.5%). Additionally, 81.21% said inquiries for new work were stable to significantly higher, a drop from the fourth quarter of 2014 (87.51%) but close to the 81.5% reported for the fourth quarter of 2013.
The majority of respondents (83.94%) described business conditions for 2015 as stable to significantly better than the previous year. This number is a drop from what had been reported during the fourth quarter of 2014 (87.51%) but much higher than 2013 (68.4%).
Some 51.42% of firms with two or more employees state they plan to hire during the first quarter of 2016, a jump from the previous quarter (48%), and the highest recorded for a fourth-quarter survey in five years. Some 47.23% of firms with 10 to 49 employees will be hiring landscape architects, both experienced and entry-level.
The survey also asked firms about student internships: 62.96% of firms with two or more employees said they offer internships; 81.40% of those firms with say they pay their interns.