Job Losses in Archaeology – July 2010

A new report on job losses and employment within UK commercial archaeology has been produced by Landward Research Ltd. The report, which is on the situation as it was in July 2010, has been published by the Institute for Archaeologists at

The number of people in archaeological employment increased markedly over the three months from April to June 2010, with at least one employer finding it difficult to recruit fieldworkers, but simultaneously business confidence in maintaining this growth declined considerably.

It is estimated that 6498 people were working in professional archaeology on 1st July 2010, an increase of 265 (4.3%) on the figure for 1st April 2010. 3669 of these individuals were working in commercial, applied archaeology, an increase of 7.8% on the figure for 1 April 2010. This figure is 9.1% below the August 2007 peak.

The proportion of businesses that expected to be able to maintain their current staff numbers fell in  comparison with three months previously, with the proportion of businesses that expected market conditions to deteriorate  rising significantly.

Unlike at the start of 2010, most businesses now expect conditions to be worse in the next year than better. The overwhelming majority of respondents expect some archaeological practices to cease trading in the next twelve months.

Even though some employers found it difficult to recruit fieldworkers, for the fifth 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.

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