WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The worst of the recession may finally be over for landscape architecture firms. According to the latest American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) Business Quarterly survey, firm leaders reported higher levels of billable hours, hiring and especially inquiries for new work – suggesting that the spring thaw could also apply to an industry hit hard by the lack of new design and construction projects over the past two years.

“However, we hope this signifies an industry finally growing instead of contracting.”

According to the survey, 56.4 percent of firm leaders reported stable or above levels of billable hours in the first quarter of 2010, up from 45.5 percent last quarter and 25.2 percent from the same time last year. Inquiries for new work grew substantially as 72.2 percent responded with steady or higher levels, up from 53.7 percent last quarter and 25.3 this time last year. In addition, 21.6 percent of firm leaders reported plans to hire in the upcoming quarter – the highest number since the third quarter of 2008.

“The large number of inquiries marks an important sign of recovery, but by no means is this a suddenly booming economy for landscape architects,” said ASLA Executive Vice President and CEO Nancy Somerville, Hon. ASLA. “However, we hope this signifies an industry finally growing instead of contracting.”

The survey also asked about work related to federal stimulus funds. Among landscape architecture firm leaders, 23.2 percent reported work directly from stimulus funds, about the same (22.3 percent) as last quarter.

Full survey details can be found at: http://www.asla.org/NewsReleaseDetails.aspx?id=26848

About the Survey

The ASLA Business Quarterly survey asks quarterly benchmarks on key statistics including billable hours, inquiries and hiring plans. The Q1 2010 national survey was fielded April 12 through 24, with 486 firm representatives responding.

About ASLA

Founded in 1899, ASLA is the national professional association for landscape architects, representing more than 16,000 members in 48 professional chapters and 68 student chapters. The Society’s mission is to lead, to educate and to participate in the careful stewardship, wise planning and artful design of our cultural and natural environments. Members of the Society use their “ASLA” suffix after their names to denote membership and their commitment to the highest ethical standards of the profession. Learn more about landscape architecture online at www.asla.org.

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