How to fix 'not enough workers' problem in Cities Skylines

How to fix 'not enough workers' problem in Cities Skylines
Images via Colossal Order

Written by 

Harry Boulton


7th Jul 2022 13:00

The 'not enough workers' problem in Cities Skylines is one of the most common issues you’ll run into when building your new metropolis. Problems are inevitable in Cities Skylines, but the fun of the game comes from the creative solutions you craft to deal with each one - but knowing what to do in the first place is sometimes a hurdle you need to overcome. So, if you’re confused about the problem, then make sure to carry on reading for all the details and how to fix the issue.

How to fix the problem

There are realistically three main things you can do to solve the problem, and they both can unfortunately be quite slow to fix. The fixes are as follows:

  • Amend the education level of your population
  • Increase your general population
  • Bring your citizens closer to the jobs

While they may seem like obvious fixes to the issue of not having enough people to fill the jobs, they are unfortunately the only things you can do to make a real difference to this issue.

Amend The Education Level Of Your Population

As alluded to earlier, one of the main factors that dictates who takes what jobs in your city is how educated the people are. As a general rule, lower educated citizens fill your industry and low-level commercial jobs, whereas higher education leads your population to office and high-level commercial work.

To understand what you need to focus on in terms of education, you first need to identify what type of jobs are the ones without enough workers. If it is industry, then you’ll need to adjust the level of education available to your citizens -  for example, having a high school capacity of half the available population of an area.

If it is on the highly educated side of things though, your best bet is to invest in higher education like more high schools and a university. Highly educated workers will emigrate from other regions, but they can only go so far, so building your own services can be the right thing to do. The obvious main problem with this is that it takes a while for your citizens to become properly educated, so it is a more long-term fix, instead of an instant one.

Increase Your General Population

Cities Skylines not enough workers population
Click to enlarge

The most obvious answer to the problem is likely still going to work, and that is definitely the case here. What better way to create more workers than to increase your population, which in turn increases the amount of available people to take those jobs. 

You do of course need to have both the space and the RCI demand to satisfy this action, but demand for residential will likely be there already due to the available jobs. If it is not though, making your city more attractive through things like parks, attractions, and lower tax rates can be a good short term solution.

Bring Your Citizens Closer To The Jobs

One thing that you need to be careful of when expanding your population is making sure that those new citizens can actually get to the jobs you want them to fill. Traffic and road infrastructure is always at the core of a lot of issues in Cities Skylines, but making sure you have an efficient transport network could be the solution to your problem here. 

Either make sure that your workers are situated locally to the jobs, or build efficient transport to allow them to get to businesses easily. This can either be through direct public transport routes, or auxiliary roads designed solely for the purpose of getting them to work. 

What is the problem?

Cities Skylines not enough workers details
Click to enlarge

The 'not enough workers' problem is fairly self-explanatory, as it appears when your businesses (either commercial or industrial) do not have enough workers to operate at full capacity.

It has two stages of severity that is indicated by the colour of the notification, and has a few different variations that can help you identify what the specific cause of the problem is.

In general, the problem lies within how educated your population is, and if there are enough citizens of the right education level to fulfil the jobs that populate your city. 

For example, if you have zoned a large chunk of high-level office buildings, but your city only has an elementary school and maybe a high school, there is definitely not going to be enough educated workers to fill the jobs in the office. Conversely, a university-focused city is not going to have enough workers for the industry sector, so you’re going to have to make some changes to deal with that.

So, that’s how to fix the 'not enough workers' problem, going over the three main potential causes and fixes you can use to fill out your businesses. If it’s good that are causing you an issue though, make sure to check out our guide on the Cities Skylines 'not enough goods to sell' problem.

Harry is a Guides Writer at GGRecon, having completed a Masters of Research degree in Film Studies. Previously a freelance writer for PCGamesN, The Loadout, and Red Bull Gaming, he loves playing a wide variety of games from the Souls series to JRPGs, Counter-Strike, and EA FC. When not playing or writing about games and hardware, you're likely to find him watching football or listening to Madonna and Kate Bush.

How to earn money quickly in Cities Skyline 2
How to terraform in Cities Skylines 2
How to fix 'not enough customers' in Cities Skylines 2
Best Cities Skylines 2 graphics settings to improve performance & get more fps
Cities: Skylines 2 minimum & recommended PC system requirements