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2023 Economic Assessment of the Engineering and Design Services Industry

This is the fourth annual release of the Engineering and Design Services industry forecast. In 2020, the ACEC Research Institute first commissioned a series of studies – the Industry Impact Series – to profile and analyze performance in the Engineering and Design Services industry (A/E Services). 

This study is updating that series which aims to describe, measure, and analyze the economic significance of the Engineering and Design Services industry and demonstrate the inextricable partnership between engineering, architects, and other design services to deliver the built environment of the United States. The built environment refers to all human-made surroundings that provide the setting for human activity, ranging in scale from buildings and parks/green space to neighborhoods and cities including their supporting infrastructure, such as water supply or energy networks.

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Download the newly released 2023 Q4 Engineering Business Sentiment Study today. 

Key Takeaways from the Q4 2023 Sentiment Study

Hot Topics:

Fifty-eight percent of firms conducted research and development in 2023.

• Among those conducting R&D, 45% spent at least $1 million.

• Eighty-seven percent of firms conducting R&D indicate that the change in R&D tax amortization requirements will affect their firms negatively.

• Among firms affected, 29% say they will delay/put a hold on growth plans and another 29% indicate they will invest less in additional R&D.

Download the newly released 2024 Q1 Engineering Business Sentiment Study today. 

Hot Topics:

• In the past three months, over half of firms (51%) continue to turn down work due to workforce shortages. This is consistent with a year ago.

• Among firms turning down work, most (88%) are being more selective about the projects they are accepting, up from 80% a year ago at this time.

• Wage inflation is the biggest single concern among firm executives as they head into 2024. Political disruption from the 2024 presidential election follows.

• Half (52%) of firms have an AI strategy in place or are working on one and 63% of firms believe that AI will have a positive impact on their firm in the coming year.

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