Slator Job Index Climbs for a Fifth Consecutive Month in November 2019

The Slator Language Industry Job Index (LIJI) was developed for the purpose of tracking how employment and hiring activity trends in the global language industry.

In November 2019, the Slator LIJI rose to 106.79 up from 106.02 in October 2019. The baseline was taken to be July 2018 (100), the starting point from which expansion or contraction of employment and hiring activity across the industry was measured.

The index has now climbed for five consecutive months after it dipped slightly in June 2019 to 102.38. Last month, the index jumped by nearly 1.5 points from 104.64 in September 2019 to 106.02 in October 2019.

The upward trend in November was reflected in most of the indicators used for the LIJI, including the number of job postings on all the job aggregation sites monitored by Slator.

There was a slight decline in the number of people returned using a keyword search for Localization on LinkedIn and in job postings from Slator LSPI companies, which mitigated the overall increase.

Observational data relating to activity across the language industry in the month of October 2019 showed good indicators of a buoyant industry, with M&A and funding activity continuing strongly.

Slator covered a number of M&A and funding stories in October 2019, as TransPerfect acquired four media localization companies: Lylo, Lassostudios, Sublime, and AGM, and Paras and Associates was sold to the company’s employees under an Employee Ownership Trust.

Meanwhile, China’s Youdao announced an upcoming IPO on the New York Stock Exchange and Polish LSP Summa Linguae signed a Letter of Intent to sell a majority stake to a private equity firm. The deal is contingent upon the prior closing of two acquisitions by Summa Linguae. 

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Several news items highlighted likely demand drivers for language services in October 2019. In the US, a New York City department recommended new language access laws to support Limited English Proficiency speakers with debt collection matters. The UN issued a Request for Information (RFI) seeking 25 vendors to showcase interpreting conference technology. On gaming platform Apple Arcade, a significant number of game apps have been localized into exactly 14 languages, indicating a possible trigger for increased game localization demand.

October 2019 was a busy month for hiring: Slator reported on key industry hires at several language service and software providers, including Transfluent, Mother Tongue, and Across Systems as well as Unbabel, Multilingual Connections, Semantix, and Acolad. Belgian LSP Jonckers hired two former SDL executives, Silke Zschweigert and Dominic Kinnon, and Jeff Brink’s Big Language Solutions appointed Dave Perlman as CFO. To top it off, Joshua Gould became the new CEO of UK-based LSP thebigword.

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The Slator LIJI relies on LinkedIn for a substantial part of the underlying data. The social media site has some 500 million users, many of whom share data about their skills, experience, location, company, and job title 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.