Many landscape architectural firms viewed 2014 as an improvement from the previous year, but they still reported quarterly dips in billable hours and inquiries for new work in the fourth quarter, according to the American Society of Landscape Architect’s (ASLA) latest Business Quarterly survey. Plans to hire rose from the previous quarter.
The survey found that 74.67 percent reported stable to significantly higher billable hours, a notable decrease from 84.17 percent the previous quarter. Some 76.75 percent said inquiries for new work were stable to significantly higher, another decline from 83.89 in the third quarter.
Year to year, 80.17 percent of firms indicated stable to significantly higher fourth-quarter billable hours, a slight dip from the fourth quarter of 2013 (81.5 percent). Additionally, 84.64 percent said inquiries for new work were stable to significantly higher, a jump from the fourth quarter of 2013 (81.5 percent).
Across the board, most firms (87.51 percent) described business conditions for 2014 as stable to significantly better than the previous year. Fully 71.88 percent said that 2014 was slightly to significantly better.
Of all firms with two or more employees, 50.63 percent said they planned to hire in the first quarter of 2015, a rise from the third quarter (48.06 percent). Some 57.90 percent of firms with 10-49 employees will be hiring landscape architects, both experienced and entry-level.
The survey included questions related to international work. Fully 10.96 of all respondents said that international billings are an important segment of their firms’ business. Additionally, 19.30 percent said that their firm worked on international projects in the last three years, and 16.67 percent said their firm had international work in 2014.
Types of projects in 2014 included commercial (71.79 percent), public (51.28 percent) and residential (35.90 percent). The top regions included Asia (51.28 percent), Latin America (38.46 percent), Middle East (33.33 percent) and North America (33.33 percent).
The majority of firms (73.33 percent) that did not pursue international projects in 2014 said they were not interested in pursuing this work. Others said they are actively pursuing international projects (5.13 percent) or considering international work (21.54 percent). View report.