Hiring activity in the global language market experienced a seasonal dip in January 2022 after the Slator Language Industry Job Index (LIJI) reached its highest-ever level in December 2021.
The LIJI was developed to track employment and hiring trends in the global language industry. The July-2018 baseline is the starting point from which expansion or contraction of employment and hiring activity across the industry is measured.
After record growth in 2021, the Slator LIJI fell by 7.8 points to 172.75 in January 2022, from 180.53 the month prior. The job index climbed more than 72 points in 2021, culminating in a record 11.8-point increase in December 2021. The index grew in 10 out of 12 months in 2021.
The decline in the January 2022 figure is consistent with the prior year’s trend and is linked to a decrease in job ads across many of the platforms monitored by Slator. Observational data related to activity across the language industry in the month of December 2021 indicate that the translation, localization, and interpreting hiring environment remained resilient throughout the seasonal slowdown associated with the holidays.
M&A, Funding, Financials
In December, Slator covered news of eight M&A and funding transactions in a bumper end to a year of dealmaking.
US-based Smartling kicked off the month announcing USD 160m in growth funding, while multilingual video and avatar startup Synthesia and localization management startup Lokalise both announced raises of USD 50m in December.
Other transactions during the month included acquisitions by or of language service providers (LSPs). Media localization company Take 1 announced its plan to buy transcription provider Verb8tm, Summa Linguae acquired language data provider Datamundi, Unbabel bought Lingo24, and multilingual transcription and captioning company Verbit announced its acquisition of Automatic Sync Technologies (AST). In the UK, private equity firm IK Partners took a majority stake in Manchester-based LSP DA Languages.
Also in the UK, two listed companies released full-year results or trading updates for 2021, as RWS reported revenues of GBP 694.5m (USD 920.2m) for the 12 months to September 30, 2021, and video games services provider Keywords raised its guidance with full-year revenues now expected to be at least EUR 505m (USD 572m).
The December edition of Slator’s Language Industry Buyer Tracker (SlatorPro) featured 19 translation and localization buyers, who either joined new organizations or were promoted to new language roles recently. The January edition featured 15.
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Over at LocJobs, there were 10 new job postings in the month of December, as companies such as Supertext, Eriksen Translations, Language Inspired, and TALK Finance posted their vacancies for roles spanning translation (French, German, English), project management, and customer care.
The Slator LIJI relies on LinkedIn for part of its underlying data. The social media site has some 500 million users, many of whom share data about their skills, experience, location, company, and job titles on their personal LinkedIn pages. There are over 600,000 profiles under the Translation and Localization category and a search using the keyword Localization also yields more than 600,000 profiles.
In addition to using data from LinkedIn, the Slator LIJI also culls data from a range of sources, including global job aggregation sites and additional direct company data collected from Slator LSPI companies.