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 May 2019, its tenth month, the Slator LIJI rose to 103.41 up from 101.77 in April 2019. The baseline was taken to be July 2018 (100) and was used as a starting point from which to measure expansion or contraction of employment and hiring activity across the industry.
The upward trend in May was reflected across most of the indicators used for the LIJI, including the number of profiles returned using the keyword search and registered under the Translation and Localization category on Linked In and across some of the job aggregation sites monitored by Slator. There was a decrease in the number of job postings listed among Slator LSPI companies and on a number of the job aggregation sites monitored, which mitigated the overall increase.
Observational data relating to activity across the language industry in April 2019 show good indicators of a buoyant industry, with M&A and funding activity continuing strongly.
On the M&A front, Germany-headquartered Transline acquired Interlanguage and Medax, while Spain’s AT Language Solutions bought domestic rival AABAM. In the media localization space, SDI Media’s parent group, Imagica, took a significant minority stake in Pixelogic, while fellow media localizer Lylo acquired an Italian dubbing studio. In funding news, meanwhile, automated transcription provider Trint secured USD 4.5m in Series A, and Synthesia raised USD 3.1m for its lip-sync technology.
It was a busy month for earnings reporting, with largely positive results across the board for language service providers:
- TransPerfect’s first quarter 2019 results were up 8.2% from 2018 to USD 166m;
- RWS broke USD 2bn in market cap as revenues for the six months to March 31 grew 23% to USD 224m;
- Keywords grew 66% in 2018 on acquisitions, and 10.1% organically, although results in Keywords’ localization division were hampered by a drop in spend by its top client;
- Shares in UK-listed media localizer ZOO Digital were under pressure on the release of its full-year earnings report;
- Japan’s publicly-listed Rozetta Corp. saw its market cap close in on USD 400m as full-year 2018 revenues jumped nearly 45% to USD 26m and machine translation sales climbed to over USD 8m;
- Straker Translations’ shares were up 10% after quarterly results showed 48% year-on-year growth on acquisitions.
Several news stories highlighted likely drivers of localization demand, such as the growing number of patent applications to WIPO, new in-browser streaming models (à la Netflix) for video games and the EU earmarking additional millions to automate translation.
The Slator LIJI relies on LinkedIn for a substantial part of the underlying data. The 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.