Language Industry Job Index Climbs for Fifth Consecutive Month

Slator Language Industry Job Index - Nov 21

Hiring activity in the language industry continued its upward trajectory in November 2021. After a 3.8-point increase the month prior, in October 2021, the Slator Language Industry Job Index (LIJI) climbed by a similar amount, 3.4 points, in November.

The November 2021 LIJI grew to 168.75 from 165.33 in October 2021. The index now stands at its highest-ever level, surpassing a previous high the month prior, as well as pre-pandemic peaks in July 2019 and March 2020.

The index has climbed a total of 60 points in 2021, year to date; and more than 68 points since the LIJI launched three years ago in July 2018.

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 growth in the November 2021 figure is linked to an increase in job ads across many of the platforms monitored by Slator. Observational data related to activity across the language industry in the month of October 2021 indicate that the translation, localization, and interpreting hiring environment has remained buoyant.

Activity in the language industry is reflective of a wider economic recovery. Reuters reported in early October that the US economy had “now regained half of the jobs deficit it faced in December, compared with pre-pandemic employment levels.”

Meanwhile, the European Commission is forecasting GDP growth of 3.7% in 2021 among its Member States, along with an increase in momentum in the second half of 2021 and beyond.

M&A and Funding

Slator covered news of three M&A and funding transactions in October. Life sciences translation provider Conversis announced its acquisition of niche specialist Zebra Translations, and Poland-based Argos Multilingual acquired US rival Venga Global, roughly doubling its size.

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Meanwhile, Indian-language SaaS translation platform, Devnagri, closed a USD 0.6m seed round led by Mumbai-based tech incubator, Venture Catalyst, and angel investment fund, Inflection Point Ventures (IPV).

A number of language service providers (LSPs) released financial results during the month of October. Among them were two of the five Super Agencies, US-headquartered TransPerfect and UK-listed RWS.

TransPerfect reported that their top-line hit USD 279m in Q3, with year-to-date revenues for the nine months ended September 30, 2021 standing at USD 777m. Its closest rival, RWS, reported that full-year revenue is expected to be in the region of USD 965m, with adjusted profit before tax likely to equal or exceed USD 150m.

Two Australia-listed companies released quarterly results for the three months to September 30, 2021. Translation and captioning provider Ai-Media generated revenues of AUD 14.9m (USD 11.2m) for Q1 FY22, up 35% from the same period the previous year (Q1 FY21), while Straker Translations reported unaudited Q2 revenue of NZD 11.9m (USD 8.6m), up 66% from the year prior.

Hiring News

The October edition of Slator’s Language Industry Buyer Tracker (SlatorPro) featured 18 translation and localization buyers, who either joined new organizations or were promoted to new language roles recently.

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In LSP hiring news, Austria-based Janus Worldwide announced the appointment of David Brett as Head of Sales EMEA. Slator also covered the appointments of Nicolas Bosovsky (COO) and José Luis Arias Parra (VP of Service Delivery) at Toppan Digital Language, Edgar Vargas Castañeda (VP of Growth Strategies) at TransPerfect, Hadar Gershuny (VP of R&D) at BLEND, and Natalie Ayers (Director of Marketing and Communication) at United Language Group.  

Over at LocJobs, there were more than 20 new job postings in the month of October, as companies, including Travod, Acclaro, Alboum, CSOFT, and others added their open vacancies for roles spanning account management, vendor management, business development, and project management.

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.