The Archaeological Market Survey for 2017-18 has been published and is available for download: Archaeological Market Survey 2017-18.
Key Results of the Survey
Record levels of commercial investment and employment for archaeologists in the UK.
The numbers of people employed as professional archaeologists, both in applied commercial archaeology and across the entire archaeological sector in the UK, were higher 2017-18 than they had ever been before.
£239m was invested in the economy through applied archaeology in 2017-18
Despite the sector’s wariness about the future of the market (a major factor in which appears to be the UK’s imminent departure from the European Union), businesses were investing both in staff and business expansion.
• In financial year 2017-18 the sector grew in terms of the number of employees , financial turnover and profit levels.
• 6,812 people were employed as professional archaeologists in 2017-18; more than have ever been before, with 13% of them being non-UK EU nationals
• The majority of businesses in the sector expected to expand significantly in the next year (2018-19) (e.g. in premises, vehicles, capital equipment)
• The overwhelming majority of income came from private sector clients (83%, a slight increase from 81% in 2016-17) with residential housing as the biggest sector, but infrastructure projects were also important.
• Much of this investment is dependent on the planning process having access to expert archaeological advice
• Despite this, the sector’s confidence in the future of the market was declining, and had been since 2015
• Brexit and the under-resourcing of local government planning advice were still considered to be major concerns for the sector