Workloads increase for American architects for first time in a year

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has noted that the architecture billings index (ABI), which measures monthly workloads for design firms, has recorded its first increase since February 2020.

The ABI score for February 2021 was 53.3, compared with 44.9 in January. A score over 50 shows an increase in billings.

The AIA’s new project inquiries score also increased, with February reaching a 22-month high at 61.2 compared with 56.8 in January.

The AIA’s design contract score rose to 51.6 in February, compared with 48.8 in January.

Kermit Baker, the AIA’s chief economist, said: "Hopefully, this is the start of a more sustained recovery. It is possible that scores will continue to bounce above and below 50 for the next few months, as recoveries often move in fits and starts.

"Beyond the encouraging billing data, architects added 700 new positions in January and have now regained 45% of the jobs that were lost since the beginning of the pandemic."

Image courtesy of Prathan Chorruangsak/Dreamstime

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