What about the people doing all the work? Their trends mirror the financial and project stats. Design staff positions dropped slightly, to 8,144 from 8,212—compare that to the jump from 6,850 previously. Still, that optimism remains, as firms now predict hiring 400.
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When the hires start, they’ll be earning more. Hourly pay rates rose across the board, with designers making $128 per hour, up from $125; project managers averaging $175, up from $170; and principals getting $250, up from $237. This corresponds to what the hospitality Giants say is one of their biggest business challenges: attracting and retaining quality talent. Even without an explosion in profits, when business is healthy, you have to keep great staff around.