Slator Job Index Overtakes Baseline in October 2020

Slator Language Industry Job Index - October 2020

Hiring activity in the language industry continues to heat up in the months following the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic; In October 2020, the Slator Language Industry Job Index (LIJI) jumped by more than three points — the biggest increase, thus far, in 2020. 

The October 2020 LIJI rose to 102.55 from the month prior — a record jump of 3.3 points in 2020. It surpassed the baseline, taken to be July 2018 (100), for the first time since March 2020 and now stands at around the same level as October 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.

Fresh for October 2020, Slator is excited to bring you our brand new jobs website LocJobs.com. Our mission is to make LocJobs the talent hub for the language industry, where candidates connect to new opportunities and employers find the most qualified professionals.

The jump in the October index is linked to an increase in job ads from September 2020 across all platforms monitored by Slator. The Slator LIJI had already started to rebound in August 2020, albeit ever so slightly, rising to 96.93 from 95.66 in July 2020.

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Observational data related to activity across the language industry in the month of September 2020 also showed strong indicators of a recovering industry.

Publicly-listed companies Appen, Keywords Studios and ZOO Digital all released financial results or provided trading updates during the month of September 2020, and all showed signs of growth.

Australia-based Appen reported 25% revenue growth for H1 2020; Keywords posted an 8% organic increase in revenues for the six months to June 30, 2020; and ZOO Digital said they expect double-digit revenue growth in their first half.

Playing in the respective niches of AI-support services, video games, and media localization — which have tended to hold firm if not benefit from shifts during the pandemic — Appen, Keywords, and ZOO may prove to be among the stronger performers within the broader translation and localization industry.

M&A activity continued strongly in September 2020. BIG Language Solutions acquired US healthcare-focused LSP ISI; two Belgian LSPs merged; Apostroph Group bought a local boutique rival; and, in the second biggest deal of the year, Acolad Group acquired AMPLEXOR to become Continental Europe’s largest LSP.

In startup funding news, localization SaaS company Lokalise raised USD 6m in a Series A round. CEO Petr Antropov joined Slator’s podcast, SlatorPod, to discuss investment and growth plans.

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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.