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Architect trend predicts building activity

A SLIGHT decline in architectural employment could indicate construction activity might also decrease over the next six months if predictions by the Royal Australian Institute of Architects prove correct.

RAIA research manager Sandra Draganich said recent research had confirmed what many had believed for a long time – that employment trends in architects’ offices provided a leading indicator of future construction activity – particularly in the non-residential sector.

She said architects were often the first professionals contacted by clients wanting to build.

Results from the RAIA Staff Levels Survey reported a two per cent decrease in architectural office employment levels in the six months to September 2000. Tasmania reported the largest decrease in levels, falling five per cent, while South Australian levels rose two per cent.

Despite increasing steadily since 1993, architectural office staff levels still remain 23 per cent below their peak 1989 level.

In WA firms recorded an at-average fall in staff levels of two per cent. However, the outlook is more positive than many of the other states, with firms expecting to increase staffing by five per cent in the next six months.

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