Hiring activity in the language industry fell in June 2021, interrupting the four-month upward trajectory from January 2021. The Slator Language Industry Job Index (LIJI) decreased by 4.6 points in June, the first decline in the Index since January 2021.
The June 2021 LIJI shrank to 134.85 from 139.41 in May 2021. But the index still stands at its second-highest level, surpassing pre-pandemic peaks in July 2019 and March 2020, and bettered only by its all-time high the previous month.
The index has climbed a total of 26 points in 2021 year to date.
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 slight decline in the June 2021 figure is linked to a slowdown in job ads across a number of the platforms monitored by Slator, which offset growth on some of the other platforms. Observational data related to activity across the language industry in the month of May 2021 indicate that the translation, localization, and interpreting hiring environment has remained buoyant.
M&A and investment activity continued strongly in May 2021, particularly in North America, where Canadian language service provider (LSP) TRSB acquired local rival Anglocom, Propio Language Services bought Vocalink, and Big Language Solutions acquired over-the-phone (OPI) provider LanguageLink. In the world of transcription and captioning, US-based VITAC was acquired by Israel-headquartered AI agency Verbit.
Over in Europe, German Translation Network (GEtraNet) acquired Lingua-World and UK-based Wolfestone Group bought Germany’s Pursuit Translations. Meanwhile, Lithuania-based remote simultaneous interpreting (RSI) platform Interactio secured USD 30m in funding.
A number of publicly-listed LSPs released financial results in May; US-based interpreting provider Stratus (now AMN Language Services) had an ‘outstanding’ run in the first quarter, when revenues hit USD 41m, and shares in Straker Translations jumped to an all-time high on the publication of full-year results to March 31, 2021. In less positive news, Japan’s Honyaku Center reported a 14% decline in revenues for the 12 months to March 31, 2021.
The public sector procurement machine kept churning in May 2021, as several European countries launched language services tenders. Sweden began its search for a sole supplier to service interpreting demand in Stockholm, in a contract worth USD 72m over four years. The Dutch Ministry of Justice published a tender for translation services estimated to be worth around USD 7m annually. Also in May, the UK awarded half-a-billion US dollars in healthcare translation and interpreting framework contracts.
Over at LocJobs, there were several new employers and lots of new job listings in May 2021. Among them, a Vendor Manager role at Laoret, a Client Services Manager role at Eriksen Translations, and multiple roles at game localization provider Altagram, Swiss-based Supertext, and TMS provider 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.