In the past two years, the recession has taken its toll on the profession, leaving many hunting for work. Exactly how many architects are unemployed, however, can be the subject of debate. Assessing the jobless rate for the design profession can produce wildly disparate results—and architects, economists, and recruiters aren’t precisely sure how bad things are.
Part of the problem, they say, stems from the fact that the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics lumps architects under its sweeping “Architecture and Engineering Occupations” category, which is tilted heavily toward engineers. In fact, of the 20 job types in that category [see sidebar], 18 are engineering-related, including aerospace, nuclear power, and mining.