Hiring activity in the language industry increased strongly in March 2021, continuing the upward trajectory from February 2021, when it rebounded from the January 2021 seasonal dip. In March 2021, the Slator Language Industry Job Index (LIJI) climbed by nearly 10 points, the biggest upswing since Covid-19 took effect.
The March 2021 LIJI grew to 122.49 from 112.64 in February 2021. The index now stands around the level of February 2020 (pre-pandemic), and approximately four points shy of the all-time high of 126.82 in March 2020.
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.
The increase in the March 2021 figure is linked to an uptick in job ads across all but one of the platforms monitored by Slator, and in the number of relevant profiles returned by keywords and category searches on LinkedIn. Observational data related to activity across the language industry in the month of February 2021 also indicated a buoyant environment in terms of hiring and demand levels.
In February 2021 M&A news, Slator covered US-based LSP Ad Astra’s acquisition of boutique Canadian rival MontLingo in late 2020. And UK-headquartered multilingual e-commerce content company Quill announced its integration into sister company Jellyfish, a digital marketing agency also owned by Quill’s French parent company, Fimalac.
In funding, UK-based translation management system (TMS) provider XTM International announced the sale of a majority stake in the company to K1 Investment Management, which completed in January. In Germany, technology-enabled LSP Lengoo announced that it had closed a USD 20m Series B round led by Amsterdam-based Inkef Capital.
February also saw a number of publicly-listed LSPs release financial results. Japan’s largest LSP Honyaku Center released results for the first nine months to December 31, 2020, reporting declines in all core translation sectors with the exception of Pharma, while overall sales slid by 17.4% to around USD 67m.
Two Australia-listed companies, Ai-Media and Appen, also provided financial updates. Captioning and subtitling provider Ai-Media reported a 21% increase in first-half revenues to USD 18m, while data-for-AI provider Appen’s 12% growth in annual revenues (to USD 474.5m) failed to prevent shares plummeting.
Meanwhile, in the world of US interpreting, AMN Healthcare-owned Status Video grew 29% in the full-year to December 31, 2020, to around USD 139m.
In public sector deal wins, several major contracts were awarded or renewed: thebigword’s contract with the UK’s Ministry of Justice was extended for three years; Sweden’s Semantix won big with the European Commission’s GROW contract, and the EU awarded USD 13m in translation contracts to multiple suppliers.
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Consistent with the increase in hiring activity, several new employers joined LocJobs in February 2021 including recruitment firm Global Search RC and LSPs Taia, and Talk Finance.
Global Search is hiring a COO in Pennsylvania, US and Managing Director for North America, while Taia is hiring a Project Manager and Talk Finance is looking for a Project Coordinator. Other new roles were advertised in February including a Pre-Sales Consultant (SYSTRAN), a German Language Manager and a Korean Language Manager (both at Canva), and a Group Business Analyst (Memsource).
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.