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ASLA releases third quarter 2017 Business Quarterly survey
Beth Hyatt | November 8, 2017

For the third quarter of 2017, the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) reports in their Business Quarterly survey that landscape architecture firms experienced stable conditions.

ASLA’s Business Quarterly survey focuses on statistics that include hiring plans, billable hours and inquiries. This survey was fielded from Oct. 9 to Oct. 23, 2017, and there were 137 primary firm contacts that responded.

ASLA reports that plans to hire over the next quarter fell, and billable hours held steady and inquiries for new work slightly dipped. The group states that a five-year comparison of survey results shows that numbers for the third quarter are well within range.

Stable to significantly higher billable hours for the third quarter were reported by 85.7 percent of responding firms, according to ASLA, which is about the same as the 85.1 percent from the previous quarter.

In the third quarter of 2016, 78.4 percent was reported; in the third quarter of 2015, 83.4 percent was reported; in the third quarter of 2014, 84.2 percent was reported; and in the third quarter of 2013, 80.6 percent was reported.

“The survey found that year to year, some 84.2 percent of firms said that billable hours were stable to significantly higher—higher than what had been reported for the third quarters of 2016 (80.4 percent), 2015 (81.3 percent), 2014 (82.4 percent) and 2013 (80 percent),” ASLA noted in the survey. “Year to year, 85.6 percent said that third quarter inquiries for new work were stable to significantly higher, higher than what had been reported for the third quarters of 2016 (81.3 percent), 2015 (84.5 percent) and 2013 (84.7 percent). It is slightly below the 86.1 percent reported for the third quarter of 2014.”

ASLA states that fewer than half of responding firms with two or more employees, 49 percent, say they do plan to hire during 2017’s fourth quarter, which is a retreat from the 52.3 percent of 2017’s second quarter survey. This is higher than what had been reported for third quarter surveys in 2013-2016.

The survey also reports that almost 66.7 percent of firms with more than 100 employees also say they will be hiring either an entry-level landscape architect or an experienced landscape architect. Respondents were also asked to answer questions regarding employee engagement at their firms.

Ninety-eight respondents from firms with two or more employees say their firms believe in treating employees with respect; the remaining two percent said they were unsure.

Approximately 99 percent of respondents from firms with two or more employees stated that their firms strongly believe fostering employee engagement is critical to achieving high performance.

“Some 93.1 percent of responding firms with two or more employees frequently recognize employees for work performance,” ASLA stated in the survey. “Fully 82.2 percent of responding firms with two or more employees offer tangible rewards to employees for outstanding work achievements.”

For key highlights of ASLA’s survey, click here.

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