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New survey shows archaeological market still subdued

The first State of the Archaeological Market survey shows a slight increase in the numbers employed in development-led archaeology in the past six months, cialis though still significantly down on the July 2007 peak. Staff turnover was relatively low, with more staff moving between archaeological employers than leaving the profession. Employment contracts remained largely unchanged, but salaries fell in real terms. Average turnover last financial year was slightly up to around £1.2m, with a similar level projected for the current year, mostly through assessments, fieldwork and post-fieldwork analysis. However, profit margins were mainly below 5% and business confidence remains low. Many businesses have established subsidiary offices around the UK, though few plan expansion over the next twelve months. Fieldwork and post-fieldwork skills continue to be lost, and with conservation skills are those most likely to be bought in.

The new twice-yearly survey, carried out by Landward Research Ltd on behalf of FAME and the IfA, covers the period April-September 2011. It includes data from the EH/ALGAO/IHBC August 2011 report on local government staff resources, but does not take into account job losses in other areas of the sector, such as national heritage agencies, universities or museums. In the 68% of the sector for which we know the data, we have seen the deepest and longest cut in the number of archaeologists since records began.

The survey builds on the economic analysis carried out by the London School of Economics for the Southport Group, and replaces the quarterly Job Losses survey, which some FAME members found too narrow in scope.

The response rate was around 50%, with some respondents reluctant to release financial information, even though the results were anonymised. This is the first real attempt to assess the scope of the UK archaeological market, and FAME members are urged to contribute to its success by suggesting improvements to the survey and taking time to respond as fully as possible to the next one in April 2012.

The full report may be viewed here.

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