With work steady and cash flowing, firms have been bulking up to meet demand. Total interior design staff at these Giants cruised to 8,200, a more than 1,600-employee jump from last time and the highest number in five years. The firms forecast hiring another 550 designers. The average fees per staffer consequently dipped to $128,724, as new hires diluted the numbers.
All those hires had plenty to do. The hospitality Giants continue to see explosive increases in the number of jobs: reaching 4,626, almost 1,000 more this time than last and nearly an identical jump from the time before. These Giants expect another big jump in jobs, up to 5,300. Job size was smaller, however, as square footage went down from 202 to 192 million. A rebound to 223 million is predicted.
What kind of hospitality jobs are firms doing? Like last time, a third of design revenue came from luxury hotels, which explains why 82 percent of the hospitality Giants do this kind of work. Mid/economy and boutique hotels, which provided 15 and 11 percent, respectively, also remain steady.
These firms expect year-to-year earnings on hotels to increase 10 percent, to $460 million. The hottest segments? Luxury and boutique hotels again. Six in 10 hospitality Giants tell us to watch restaurants and resorts as well. Renovations continue to dominate the type of work firms take on. The current breakdown is 55 percent renovation versus 45 percent new construction. Half of the respondents were over the 60 percent mark, and 12 firms said 90 percent or more of work was renovations, same as last time. Revenue from furniture, fixtures, and construction products grew 16 percent to $20.9 billion, trumping the forecast by $1.5 billion, and the total is expected to bloom 70 percent to $35 billion. (Time will tell on that optimism!) Another interesting tidbit: Furniture and fixtures have taken a bigger chunk of the pie here—category revenue was up 33 percent to $8.4 billion. It was a mere $6.3 billion previously.