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 October 2019, the Slator LIJI rose to 106.02 up from 104.64 in September 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. From a starting point of 101.33 in January 2019, the index dipped below the baseline in February 2019 and has since rebounded, hitting new highs in August 2019 and September 2019.
The upward trend in October was reflected in most of the indicators used for the LIJI, including 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 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 September 2019 showed good indicators of a buoyant industry, with M&A and funding activity continuing strongly.
Slator covered four M&A stories in September 2019, as Acolad Group swapped its majority private equity owner for a new minority backer, Qualium Investissement. TransPerfect acquired game localization specialist MoGi, and gaming provider Keywords dipped its toes into new waters, buying Berlin-based media localization company TV Synchron. To top it off, two significant media localization players joined forces in the merger between IYUNO and BTI Studios.
In funding news, Unbabel raised USD 60m in a Series C round to become the most heavily-funded language industry startup to date. Germany-based language service provider lengoo raised EUR 6m in a Series A round and Luxembourg TMS provider Wordbee received an investment of EUR 1m from Hong Kong financial printing and document services company HeterMedia.
Several news items highlighted likely demand drivers of language services in September 2019. In Atlanta, schools have banned students, siblings, and friends from translating and interpreting for parents. Google revived its human transcription programs for Google Assistant and, in New Zealand, ezispeak replaced the longtime incumbent on a government contract for over-the-phone interpreting.
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.