Slator Job Index Rises Fourth Month in a Row

Slator Translation and Localization Language Industry Job Index - November 2020

Hiring activity in the language industry continues its upward swing after the (first) peak of the Covid-19 pandemic. In November 2020, the Slator Language Industry Job Index (LIJI) jumped by nearly three points.

The November 2020 LIJI rose to 105.43 from the month prior — up from 102.55 in the month of October when it surpassed the baseline, taken to be July 2018 (100), for the first time since March 2020. The index now stands around the level of January 2019.

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 jump in the November index is linked to a marked increase in job ads from October 2020 across almost all platforms monitored by Slator. The Slator LIJI initially started to recover in August from an all-time low of 95.66 in July 2020.

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

M&A was less active in the month of October than in the past few months. Slator covered only one corporate transaction in October, as translation startup TAIA announced that they had raised EUR 1.2m (USD 1.4m) in series A funding from a Croatia-based investment fund manager.

Several LSPs released financial results and updates during the month of October, with TransPerfect sharing news that their third quarter revenues (Q3 2020) were up 13% on the same period in 2019 thanks to “pent-up demand” from prior months. Meanwhile, UK-based RWS said their full-year revenues (Pro) to September 30, 2020 are expected to be flat from 2019 (i.e., at least GBP 355m).

Two publicly-listed LSPs released semi-annual results: Japan’s Rozetta Corp. grew around 3% in the six months from the beginning of March to the end of August, while New Zealand-based Straker Translations also grew in the six months to September 30, 2020, based on a number of financial metrics, generating a little under USD 10m in (unaudited) revenues.

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Three UK-based LSPs provided updates on expectations for 2020 as part of their only-now released 2019 results: thebigword said that it continues to operate profitably during the months of the pandemic, but expects revenues to decline in 2020 as a result of their added focus on integrating machine translation; translate plus said they were still managing to secure new client contracts, “despite the circumstances”; and Capita TI said revenues for the remainder of 2020 should “remain resilient, given the diverse client base.”

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.