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 September 2019, the Slator LIJI rose to 104.64 up from 104.33 in August 2019. The baseline was taken to be July 2018 (100), the starting point from which was measured expansion or contraction of employment and hiring activity across the industry.
The index has continued to rise since the beginning of 2019. Despite a slow start to the year in January 2019 and February 2019, the index grew three consecutive months in March 2019, April 2019, May 2019. It then contracted slightly in June 2019, before expanding in July 2019 and again in August 2019.
The upward trend in September was reflected in most of the indicators used for the LIJI, including job postings from Slator LSPI companies, and in the number of profiles returned using a keyword search for the Translation and Localization category on LinkedIn.
There was a decrease in job postings on some of the job aggregation sites monitored by Slator, which mitigated the overall increase.
Observational data relating to activity across the language industry in the month of August 2019 show good indicators of a buoyant industry, with funding activity continuing strongly.
M&A took a backseat to language industry funding in August 2019, as Chinese language data startup UTH raised series C funding, US-based AI support services unicorn Scale AI completed a USD 100m Series C round, and early-stage localization startup Lang graduated from Y Combinator’s summer program with USD 150,000 in funding.
In Slator’s only M&A story of August 2019, LSP Interlex took a majority stake in local rival Grata in Estonia’s fragmented language service market.
In recent hiring, EC Innovations appointed a new Managing Director; Venga Global hired a Transcreation Solutions Director; AccuLing took on a Director of Project Management; and CQ fluency hired a Multicultural Marketing Director.
Several news items highlighted likely demand drivers of language services in August 2019. In the UK, the Ministry of Defence published a GBP 45.2m tender to establish a framework contract for translation and interpreting services. Consulting firm KPMG did a deep-dive into India’s online preferences; and found that a vast and growing majority of Indians prefer to use local Indian languages online, over English. Meanwhile, two giants of media entertainment, Disney and Warner Bros. are poised to launch their own streaming platforms, signalling a probable increase in spend on media localization services.
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 for the keyword Localization also yields over 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.