Employment in UK archaeology, April 2011

Research undertaken by Landward Research Ltd for FAME and the Institute for Archaeologists has shown that in April 2011, the rate of job losses in archaeology appeared to have slowed, and business confidence was showing very slight signs of improvement.

In the first three months of 2011, the number of archaeologists in work increased very slightly (by 0.6% since January – there are estimated to be 5863 working archaeologists in the UK on 1 April 2011, 800 less than at the summer 2007 peak), but further job losses in curatorial local government services are expected and imminent.

Looking back, after a serious decline in the number of people employed in commercial archaeology in the autumn of 2008, there have been rises and falls in the total numbers ofarchaeologists in work over the last two and a half years, but with a general downward trend. Several businesses have ceased trading, with commercial companies attached to universities being particularly vulnerable.

Over time, business confidence (tracked through the measures of whether companies expect to maintain their staffing levels, whether the market is expected to improve in the next year and whether businesses are expected to close) has been poor. Overall signs of recovery in late 2009 were reversed in the first half of 2010; there has been a slight improvement in early 2011.For the eighth quarter in succession the skills needed to conduct and contribute to invasive field investigation were reported as being those that were most frequently being lost.

Read the full report here: Job Losses in Archaeology – April 2011.

Share this post