Architecture billings rise further in February, job prospects continue to grow

03.28.2013


The business conditions in the architectural, design engineering and construction sectors are continuing to pick up, with more positive economic and employment news coming out of the sectors.
The business conditions in the architectural, design engineering and construction sectors are continuing to pick up, with more positive economic and employment news coming out of the sectors.

Business conditions in the architectural, design engineering and construction sectors are continuing to pick up, with more positive economic and employment news coming out of the sectors. 

In the most recent Architecture Billings Index from the American Institute of Architects (AIA), billing rose for the seventh straight month, which was directly attributed to a jump in demand for the services of design engineering firms. In February, the index rose to 54.9, compared with 54.2 in January, according to Architect Magazine. 

The architecture industry is becoming more robust every year since busting during the recession five years ago. The index that measures project inquiries rose to 64.8 in February compared to a reading of 63.2 in the previous month. This adds to the four years of growth that project inquires have seen, which picked up after bottoming out in 2008.

The media outlet also pointed out that February was a great month for finding an architecture job, a trend that has been going on now for about six months. With the architecture staffing index coming in at 54.9 in February, it marked the fastest rate of architecture hiring since November 2007. This was also the seventh consecutive month of employment readings above 50, which denotes job growth in the sector rather than contraction. 

The ABI broke the billing and project inquiries information down by region, which showed that all four corners of the country saw growth in both indexes. The Northeast came in with the highest reading at 56.7, marking the highest score since December 2007. This was also the sixth consecutive month in which the index came in above 50 in the Northeast. 

The Midwest and the West trailed close behind with a score of 54.7 each. While it marked a slight decline in the Midwest, the reading was the highest in the West since July 2007, and was also the seventh consecutive month of growth.

Architecture billings and inquiries for multifamily residential projects saw the highest reading, at 60.9, which was also the best level reached since October 2004. 

"This sector has been by far the most productive since the real estate bubble burst and the financial crisis devastated the economy," the AIA wrote.

The most recent report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics corroborates ABI's findings, with the February Employment Report showing 3,100 architectural and engineering services jobs were added last month.