Showing posts from category: starting a business
Online job ads for architects up 20% over year
Online job advertisements for architects rose 20 percent during the last 90 days compared to the same time period in 2012, according to Wanted Analytics, a firm that tracks online job ads. There were a total of more than 16,000 architect jobs advertised in the past 90 days.
New York, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., San Francisco and Houston topped the list of metropolitan areas with the most job ads for architects.
“Autodesk AutoCAD” was the most commonly required skill in architect jobs. In the past 90 days, 5,500 jobs required CAD skills, representing about 35 percent of all hiring demand.
The most commonly required skills in architecture jobs include:
Autodesk REVIT Architecture
Oral and written communication skills
Watch a new CCTV America video from the AIA.org website that highlights 7 consecutive months of gains in the industry
Temporary hiring takes center stage
U.S. temporary employment jumped by 20,300 jobs in March, compared with the previous month, and the year-over-year growth rate ticked up, according to seasonally adjusted numbers released today by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In addition, the number of temp jobs added in February was revised upward by 22,000 jobs.
Year-over-year growth in temp jobs had been decelerating since November. However, the number of temp jobs rose by 6.4 percent year over year in March, up from the 5.3 percent increase in February.
Further, the U.S. temp penetration rate rose to 1.94 percent in March from 1.93 percent in February.
However, the U.S. added fewer jobs overall in March than February. Total non-farm employment rose by 88,000 jobs in March compared with an increase of 218,000 in February – Sending a clear signal that firms are exercising caution, temporary hires outpaced permanent hires for the same period.
The U.S. unemployment rate still fell to 7.6 percent in March from 7.7 percent in February. The college-level unemployment rate, which can serve as a proxy for professional employment, was unchanged from February at 3.8 percent.
In other industries, construction added 18,000 jobs in March. The BLS reported construction has added 169,000 jobs since September.
Click on the chart below to enlarge.
Click on the chart below to enlarge.
This post is a composite of articles from Staffing Industry Analysts and AIA.org websites
aia, architect, architects, architecture, architecture jobs, construction, David McFadden, Hiring trends, recession, starting a business, Uncategorized, unemployed architects
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Last month, the New York Times published an article discussing how while college is a great investment, a major in Architecture is not one. Because the unemployment rates for architecture graduates were the highest, that was the major to make the enemy. Let us forget the fact that the return on investment is not only higher than majors such as anthropology and archaeology whose median was $28,000 as well as the fact that journalism was not very far behind on unemployment numbers. Architecture is the enemy.
My response to this is two-fold: For one, it is a horrid recession for all majors as well as all graduates. Personally, I met a woman with two Masters in Government who has had to start her own freelance writing business to get food on her table. This is not the time to point fingers at anything, let alone educational factors. Secondly, like every major a person chooses, they must be passionate about it and ready to work in any avenue to survive. I see many majors today in the same boat as struggling actors, taking acting classes during the day and trudging through auditions…but one day find their break. Like every art-related career path like architecture, this is the life we chose. Statistics don’t make passion, people do.
architecture, architecture jobs, Hiring trends, starting a business, unemployed architects
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October ABI up 2.5 pts to 49.4
* New projects index up 3 pts to 57.3
* AIA says demand for architects’ services volatile
* New projects index up 3 pts to 57.3
* AIA says demand for architects’ services volatile
A leading indicator of U.S. construction activity rebounded in October, the AIA said on Wednesday.
The architecture billings index rose 2.5 points last month to 49.4, according the American Institute of Architects. Any reading below 50 indicates an overall decrease in demand for design services, a predictor of construction spending nine to 12 months in the future.
A separate index of inquiries for future projects rose 3 points to 57.3. That measure is more often above 50 as clients reach out to multiple architecture firms.
October’s rebound was encouraging, but demand for designs remains volatile, the group said. Conditions in various regions range from improving to poor and are likely to continue that way in coming months, the AIA said.
Conditions are strongest in the U.S. Northeast and weakest in the West.
A depressed construction market has been a headwind for manufacturers of construction machinery and components that make up buildings’ infrastructure, such as electrical, cooling and security systems.
Analysts who cover industrial stocks have called the billings index as important an economic indicator as the monthly industrial data from the Institute for Supply Management.
Most diversified industrial companies get at least some revenue from the nonresidential construction sector, which includes office buildings, retail and warehouse space, and institutional buildings such as schools and hospitals.
Companies exposed to the sector include Honeywell International Inc , Tyco International Ltd , Ingersoll Rand , Eaton Corp , Caterpillar Inc , Deere & Co and Terex Corp .
European companies such as Siemens AG , Schneider Electric SA and lock maker Assa Abloy are also significant players in the sector.
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aia, architects, architecture, architecture jobs, construction, Hiring trends, jobs, recession, starting a business, Uncategorized, unemployed architects
AIA Billing Index
While the economy has stabilized in some regards, architects are still suffering.
Just when it seemed that the architecture industry might be pulling out of its tailspin, some key economic indicators are suggesting that a recovery might take longer than expected.
The Architecture Billings Index, a measure of the industry’s health compiled by the American Institute of Architects, has dipped below 50 for three consecutive months, posting scores of 47.6 (April), 47.2 (May), and 46.3 (June). Those dips came after five straight months of the ABI hovering at or above 50, a sign of increased activity.
Moreover, Engineering News-Record’s Construction Industry Confidence Index—based on surveys sent to contractors, subcontractors, engineers and architects—fell five points in the second quarter of 2011, from 51 to 46.
That data doesn’t surprise architect Charles Dalluge of the Omaha-based firm Leo A. Daly, which has 31 offices around the world. Even though some architects were publicly predicting that “it would be heaven in 2011,” he says, a lot of firms are still suffering.
And he might know. In June, his firm laid off 50 employees from various offices, including architects and engineers. Dalluge defends the move as part of a “strategic repositioning” that will result in the hiring of 50 workers with specialties in areas of growth, such as healthcare. The firm now has 900 employees.
But even a healthcare focus may not be enough to keep some firms alive. In June, Karlsberger, a Columbus, Ohio-based healthcare-focused firm, closed after 83 years in business. None of the firm’s managers would comment on the shuttering, which is believed to have resulted in 40 job cuts. A statement on its website, however, blamed the state of the market for its woes. “Our level of revenues are insufficient for us to meet our ongoing obligations,” it says.
Karlsberger’s former president, Mitchel Levitt, who resigned in April 2010 after 31 years, told RECORD that the firm lost a major lawsuit that made it difficult to go on. The suit was brought against Ohio State University, one of Karlsberger’s largest clients, over the school’s termination of a contract for a $1 billion medical center expansion; the lawsuit was dismissed in December. “It probably hurt them,” Levitt said in an interview conducted in June. “But I thought they had done what they needed to do to continue to operate.”
While the new office building market may show few signs of turnaround, especially while jobs are scarce, a bright spot appears to be college work. Many schools’ endowments were wiped out in the recession but are now being replenished by a robust stock market, which means that many stalled university projects are back on track.
Indeed, the economic downturn suspended a renovation of Yale’s 1928 Swartwout Building, designed by Egerton Swartout. But that project recently resumed, says Richard Olcott, partner at New York-based Ennead Architects, which is overseeing the renovation. Olcott adds that his firm didn’t lay off any workers during the recession; in fact, it hired 40 people in the last year, including architects, for a grand total of 160 employees.
Even public universities, once hurt by dwindling tax-collection revenues, are restarting projects, according to Ayers Saint Gross, a Baltimore design firm at work on a once-stalled science building for the University of Delaware.
The firm added 18 people last year and is now looking to hire five more, including architects. It now has 130 employees, its highest-ever headcount, said Adam Gross, a principal. “I think the indicators are pretty serious,” he said, referring to the ABI and other worrisome data, “but not as serious as we experienced” in the fall of 2008.
Source Architectural Record
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Remember last summer when architect Will Alsop announced that he was getting out of the architecture business to concentrate on his painting? As quickly as that was announced, shortly thereafter it came out that, no, he was getting into becoming a professor. Finally, just a month or so later, he decided that he was going to stick with architecture after all and would be joining the international firm RMJM. Unfortunately, it’s looking like it may have been a better move to stick with his original painting and retirement plans as now RMJM is in something of a tumultuous flux, with not just layoffs, but staffers exiting en masse from several offices and at least twenty principals and senior staff have left as well. Specifically worse is that the firm has admitted that, after a year of employment, none of Alsop’s big projects have been picked up yet, something they undoubtedly must not have expected and which certainly isn’t helping the situation at a company “struggling to pay its bills” according to the Independent. Will Alsop stick it through and will RMJM, one of the largest firms in the world, make it through this bump in the road relatively unscathed? That’s a cliffhanger you’ll have to wait it out for.
By: Ernest Beck
The second installment of our series on architectural fees finds that increased competition for even the smallest of projects is leading firms to slash rates. But have things gone too far?
When a major New York financial institution asked three architecture firms to submit bids for a high-end office renovation last year, it was a relatively small project, but one that was eagerly sought by the bidders to keep revenue flowing in tough times. What transpired reflects the cutthroat nature of the industry these days: Two firms came in at around $175,000, while the third offered a bargain-basement price of $100,000, according to one of the participants, who asked to remain anonymous to protect client confidentiality.
Not surprisingly, the low bidder won, prompting an angry response from one of the other bidders. “If we went in at $160,000, it would have been low-balling—and dangerously low—but not impossible,” says this person, principal of a small New York design boutique that specializes in interior renovations. “But bidding $100,000 is impossible. … [T]hey won’t make any money.”
The recession has wreaked havoc on the architecture industry in many ways, from a rollback in projects to staff layoffs to declining revenue. One of the most devastating aftershocks, however, has been the practice of fee-cutting, as firms struggle to survive by meeting client demands to save money and tighten budgets.
While no exact numbers are available, architects say fee-cutting is widespread. Scott Kuehn, partner at Denver-based H+L Architecture, an 85-person firm that specializes in healthcare, education, science, and technology, had one long-term client ask for a 10 percent cut on all future work. This client, Kuehn says, “indicated that economic pressure and uncertainties … were driving similar requests to all business partners, suppliers, and vendors.”
For complete article click here.
photo via Seattle PI
First in a series of discovery…
What one unemployed architect is doing now that she has nothing to do. Click
The AEC industry has shed over 30% of its workforce in 12 months
One topic I have been kicking around with some out of work architects is the question: is it a good time to start a new business? Now, let me put this in to perspective. I am not talking about Hyatt, FedEx, Trader Joe’s or Hewlett-Packard, although these companies WERE started during recessions, according to small business writer Jan Norman’s “Poll: Is Reccession a Good Time to Start a Business?”. I am talking about starting a new freelance design or production business or hanging your own shingle, including hiring others to work with you. After all, many of us share this goal.
So is it the right time? According to AIA National, many of today’s dominant AE practices started during recessions. The AIA just re-released a 2006 Best Practices piece titled “Seven Tips for Emerging Firms” which supports their view that now is a good time to start a business.
There are opposing views however. Author Alexandra Johnson, writing for Inc. online, in her article “Is Now a Good Time to Start Up?” refers to a study conducted by the Kauffman Foundation that disputes the notion that a recession is a good time to venture out:
According to a preliminary study released by the Kauffman Foundation, the jury’s still out on whether a recession is a good time to start a business. According to popular theory, recessions breed entrepreneurship because there’s less to lose; if you lose your job, starting your own company is a good way to get one. On the other hand, a recession results in limited availability of risk capital, and unwillingness to sell products and services in a weak economy. According to Paul Kedrosky, senior fellow at the Kauffman Foundation and author of the study, an added complication to this conundrum is a lack of quality research on the extremely complex issue. “There hasn’t been much research on the subject, and the data is crap,” Kedrosky explains. “It’s hard to do well, so people don’t bother.”
However, this negative view is directly contradicted in the article “Recession is a Good Time to Start a Business: Fair Attendees Told” written by Alexandra Ward for NJ.com, in which she states,
Though one would expect the economy to be taking a toll on those interested in opening small businesses, now is the perfect environment to do so, according to Lou DeLauro, the chair of the Greater Princeton Area SCORE Chapter. “It’s a golden opportunity to do things,” DeLauro said. “You can get good deals on buildings and rents. The economy will pick up again; it’s only a matter of time.”
The more you goggle, the more information you find on this topic. The historic evidence though is that MORE studies and evidence conclude recessions ARE a good time to start new businesses. There is also agreement that these new entrepreneurs and small business owners are often the first to lead us out of recession. Therefore, we should encourage entrepreneurship in our industry as a means to and end, as well as, a new optimism for tomorrows successes. Are you considering a start-up?