Landward Research Ltd has continued to undertake work on behalf of the Institute for Archaeologists and the Federation of Archaeological Managers and Employers looking at employment levels and business confidence in commercial applied archaeology.
State of the Archaeological Market: April 2012 – Executive Summary
Commercial, applied archaeology has grown modestly in the six months to April 2012, with the total number of people in employment in the applied sector rising by 2.0% over this period. This follows growth in the previous six months, meaning that the total number of people working in archaeology (in all sectors) increased by 4.1% in 2011‐12.
Overall business confidence, while still low, is improving.
Levels of staff turnover are low, and are lower than reported in the previous six months (to October 2011). Employing organisations consider that people who have left that employer have typically remained in archaeology.
Most organisations that reported on changes in salaries consider that their salary bill has risen by inflation (or very occasionally by more than inflation) in the six months to April 2012.
Significant numbers of archaeological businesses have subsidiary offices located elsewhere in the United Kingdom.
Profitability is low and turnover may have decreased in 2011‐12 when compared with 2010‐11. The majority of revenue in applied archaeology comes from undertaking field investigation and postfieldwork analysis.
Business confidence, as measured through anticipation of growth in staff numbers, market deterioration and the failure of businesses in the sector remains negative (although more businesses expect to grow in terms of staff numbers in the next six months than expect to become smaller). Significantly, the aggregate reported views under each of these criteria were more positive than six months previously.
The most commonly reported area of skills losses is in fieldwork skills, which has been the case since this series of reports began to collect data in 2009. Notably, more organisations are investing in training in all skills areas than are reporting that they are losing skills, including artefact and ecofact conservation which is a set of skills that are normally bought in.
As was reported in October 2011, a minority of respondents had previously supported an employee getting an NVQ, although the majority say that they would consider supporting someone in the future.
Download the Full Report: State of the Archaeological Market – April 2012