The May 2010 results of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) future trends survey are predicting a double-dip recession for UK architects.
RIBA predicted the possibility of increased unemployment and reduced workload, with the number of surveyed practices expecting their workload to increase dropping from 31% in April to 26% in May.
Surveyed firms expecting a reduction in staff numbers rose from 11% in April to 16% in May.
The survey revealed that only 22% of practices expected private housing work to increase in May, compared with 29% in April and 33% in March.
Predicted work in the commercial sector also dropped slightly with 20% of practices predicting an increase in May, compared with 21% in April.
The survey also noted that large practices were doubtful about future public sector projects.
RIBA director of practice Adrian Dobson acknowledged that the current confidence trend indicated that the industry was on a downward trajectory.
"Anecdotal commentary focuses on difficulties in obtaining release of funding from banks for commercial development, aggressive fee competition and great uncertainty about the effect of public sector spending cuts on the construction industry," he said.
"All this is clearly impacting upon employment conditions for some salaried architects and the general morale of many in the profession."