Language Industry Job Index Defies Economic Uncertainty, Posts Uptick in May 2022

Slator Language Industry Job Index May 2022

Hiring activity in the global language market continued its upward trend in May 2022, albeit with a slowdown on growth rate. The Slator Language Industry Job Index (LIJI) had previously experienced a slight increase in March and April 2022 following a small seasonal dip in January 2022.

The index rose against the backdrop of inflationary pressures and a broad-based increase in global interest rates, raising the specter of an economic downturn.

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 Slator LIJI climbed by 1.5 points to 180.3 in May 2022, up from 178.8 the month prior. The job index has climbed more than seven points since January 2022, and now stands just 0.23 points lower than its December 2021 peak of 180.5.

The uptick in the May 2022 index is linked to an increase in job ads across most of the platforms monitored by Slator. Observational data related to activity across the language industry in the month of April 2022 indicate that the translation, localization, and interpreting hiring environment remains steady in the second quarter of 2022.

M&A, Funding, Financials

In April, Slator covered six M&A and funding transactions, which compares to the 11 transactions covered in March 2022.

US-based Lilt announced that it had raised USD 55m in a series C funding round, bringing total funds raised to USD 92.5m. Also based in the US is on-demand healthcare interpreting platform Jeenie, which announced a USD 9.3m series A that valued the company at approx USD 34m. 

US-based language service provider (LSP) Big Language Solutions (BIG) announced the acquisition of Italy-headquartered legal translation specialist, Lawlinguists. Meanwhile, software localization platform, Transifex also announced its sale to investment firm PARC Partners. 

Over in Europe, SeproTec announced its acquisition of Germany’s Technik-Sprachendienst GmbH (tsd). And then news broke that UK-based RWS was facing the possibility of a takeover by Baring Private Equity Asia Fund VIII Limited (BPEA), which saw shares immediately rise.

Super Agency RWS also released a half-year trading update for the six months ending March 31, 2022, stating that adjusted profit before tax came in slightly above expectations, at GBP 60m (USD 76m), compared to GBP 50.5m (USD 64m) from the comparative six-month period the year prior.

Other major LSPs also shared financial and trading updates in April. Ireland-based video games services provider Keywords Studios released full-year results for 2021 (FY21). Annual revenues stood at EUR 512.2m (USD 566m), a 37.1% increase from 2020. Revenues from localization-related activities grew 20% to a little more than USD 150m in 2021, accounting for ca. 27% of the company’s top-line. 

UK-based ZOO Digital announced it now expects full-year 2022 revenues to be at least USD 70m, up USD 5m from the previous estimate.

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Over at LocJobs, there were close to 20 new job postings in the month of April. Companies such as Acclaro, Locaria, Supertext, and RWS posted their vacancies for roles spanning marketing, project management, vendor management, and more.

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.