Third Quarter Slows, But Conditions Still Stable

Landscape architects report a slight dip in the third quarter, but the majority say billable hours remain stable or growing for the seventh quarter in a row.

Asla Survey

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%) and inquiries for new work (69.5%) for Q3 2011. In addition, 18.7% 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%), parks and recreation (64.9%), water resources and stormwater management (43.1%) and transportation (42.5%).

View full survey results online here: