The slow march towards economic recovery continues for landscape architecture firms. In the latest American Society of Landscape Architects Business Quarterly survey, more than half of responding landscape architecture firm leaders reported steady or increased billable hours and inquires for new work. These numbers represent the third quarter in a row of positive findings outpacing negative.
According to the survey, two thirds (65.6 percent) of firm leaders reported steady or above billable hours in the third quarter of 2010. Similarly, seven in ten (69.9 percent) reported steady or higher inquires for new work in the same period. The findings - similar to the second quarter results - represent the fourth time in the previous five quarters where firms reported average or above levels of work.
The relative optimism has not transferred into new jobs, with only 14.6 percent planning to hire in the upcoming quarter - down from 17.3 percent last quarter but up from 11.8 percent this time last year. Like elsewhere in the economy, firm leaders appear to be taking a wait-and-see approach to hiring despite reporting an improved business climate.