Less Archaeology Work- Duh! but still interesting to see the numbers

Posted on May 2, 2013

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As work on the Profiling the Profession is progressing I have had to look at a variety of different data sources. One source I have looked at is planning applications for construction in England. Raw number of applications do not capture the nuances of work for archaeologists. For example, building a single house will not have the same impact on archaeology as lets say a highway. That being said, if that house was in the middle of a cemetery that could be potentially generate more work than lets say a shopping center with no archaeology in the area. Basically, raw planning applications numbers capture quantity (potential) of archaeology work. The numbers for planning applications (permission to build) in England is below from this report:

Financial Year

Quarter

Granted (‘000s)

% change over year

% change from 2007-08 to 2012-13

2005-06

Jun

130

Sep

125

Dec

112

Mar

105

2006-07

Jun

123

-5%

Sep

122

-2%

Dec

111

-1%

Mar

107

2%

2007-08

Jun

124

1%

Sep

126

3%

Dec

116

5%

Mar

102

-5%

2008-09

Jun

114

-8%

Sep

108

-14%

Dec

91

-22%

Mar

73

-28%

2009-10

Jun

84

-26%

Sep

90

-17%

Dec

85

-7%

Mar

77

5%

2010-11

Jun

91

8%

Sep

97

8%

Dec

89

5%

Mar

78

1%

2011-12

Jun

89

-2%

Sep

95

-2%

Dec

89

0%

Mar

82

5%

2012-13

Jun

90

1%

-27%

Sep

90

-5%

-29%

Dec

85

-4%

-27%

Basically, there has been a loss of around 30% in potential archaeology work in the UK (England, but Scotland, Wales, NI are probably similar). This has implications for the number of archaeologists working the in the UK. I use these numbers to confirm some of the results of employment numbers in PP (more on that later). Essentially, there are multiple sources pointing towards a loss of 1/3 of archaeology jobs in the last 5 years (most concentrated around the 2008 collapse).

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