The number of people in archaeological employment fell considerably over the six months from 1 July 2010 to 1 January 2011.
It is estimated that on 1 January 2011 there were 5827 people in archaeological employment in the United Kingdom, a fall of 7.6% since July 2010.
3189 of these individuals were working in commercial, applied archaeology, a decrease of 13.1% since July 2010. This figure is 21.0% below the August 2007 peak.
There are now fewer people in archaeological employment than at any time since this series of surveys began in January 2009. The proportion of businesses that expected to be able to maintain their current staff numbers fell sharply in the three months from July to October 2010, but recovered very slightly in the final three months of 2010. The proportion of businesses that expected market conditions to deteriorate has increased in every quarter of 2010. The overwhelming majority of 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.
For the sixth and seventh quarters in succession the skills needed to conduct and contribute to invasive field investigation were reported as being those that were most frequently being lost.
The latest figured can be downloaded from the recession page.
Note: this report addresses data gathered that related to business conditions on 1 October 2010 and 1 January 2011. It also incorporates data on employment in local government archaeological advisory services that had not been previously considered in this series of reports.