The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has released its final Architecture Billings Index (ABI) report of 2021, and while the composite index ultimately ended the year strong, questions of whether a labor shortage will continue through 2022 still linger.

 

Despite ongoing hiring difficulties, material and manpower shortages, and the rampant spread of COVID’s Omicron variant dampening construction, the ABI for December 2021 came in at 52.0. (As a reminder, anything over 50 is an increase from the month before, anything under a decrease.) That’s a slight improvement from the already positive 51.0 recorded in November of 2021, and suggests that the bull run seen over the last 11 months isn’t dead yet.

“Since demand for design projects has been healthy over the last year, recruiting architectural staff to keep up with project workloads has been a growing concern for firms,” said AIA Chief Economist, Kermit Baker, in the release announcement. “Architecture is one of the few industries where payrolls have already surpassed their pre-pandemic high, so meeting future staffing needs is a challenge that most firms will need to confront.”

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