In Cities Skylines 2, managing a city’s workforce is a crucial aspect of gameplay. Players often encounter the challenge of a labor shortage, indicated by not enough workers available to fill jobs in industrial and commercial sectors. This issue can significantly impact the economic growth and overall development of your virtual city. Addressing the labor shortage is not just about increasing numbers; it involves understanding the nuanced dynamics of population, education, and urban planning within the game.


Cities Skylines 2 typically presents two types of labor shortage warnings: a default warning indicating a general lack of workers, and a specific warning about the shortage of high-skilled labor. Recognizing the difference between these two is key to implementing the right solutions.

  1. General Labor Shortage: This warning pops up when your industrial and commercial buildings don’t have enough workers. It’s a broad indicator that your city is not attracting or retaining enough people to meet the workforce demands of these sectors.
  2. High-Skilled Labor Shortage: This is more specific and arises when there is a demand for workers with higher education levels, but the current population doesn’t meet this criterion. It can be a result of either a lack of educational facilities or a mismatch between the available jobs and the skill levels of your citizens.

Primary Causes of Labor Shortage

Several factors can lead to a labor shortage. Identifying these underlying causes is essential for implementing effective solutions:

Not Enough Population: A common cause of labor shortage is simply not having enough people in your city. This can occur if you’re too quick to expand industrial and commercial zones without a corresponding growth in residential areas. A low population means fewer potential workers to fill job vacancies.

Overeducated Population: Sometimes, the issue isn’t the number of people, but their education levels. If a significant portion of your population is overeducated (Well Educated or Highly Educated), they may not fill positions requiring lower education levels (Uneducated or Educated). This mismatch can lead to vacancies in industries that don’t require high qualifications.

Inaccessibility to Job Sites: If workers can’t reach their jobs due to poor city planning or transportation issues, it will result in labor shortages. Ensuring that all areas of your city are well-connected and accessible is crucial.

Job Sites Too Far from Residential Areas: When residential zones are too far from industrial or commercial areas, workers may be unwilling or unable to commute long distances. This geographical disconnect can lead to a shortage of labor in areas far from the city’s residential heart.

Permanent Fixes For Labor Shortage In Cities Skylines 2

Once you’ve identified the causes of labor shortage in your Cities Skylines 2 city, the next step is to implement solutions. Here’s how to address each primary cause:

Balancing Residential and Commercial Zones: If your city lacks enough population, the solution lies in carefully managing the expansion of residential areas. Avoid overdeveloping commercial and industrial zones without ensuring there’s sufficient residential growth to support them. It’s crucial to create a balanced development plan where the increase in jobs is matched by a corresponding growth in the living population.

Addressing Overeducation: To prevent an overeducated population from causing labor shortages, monitor the education levels required by your city’s industries. You may need to limit the number of higher education facilities or implement policies that encourage a portion of your population to enter the workforce with lower education levels. This can be done by setting up district-specific education policies, like ‘School’s Out,’ to maintain a balanced distribution of education levels.

Improving Transportation Systems: A well-planned transportation network is essential to ensure workers can easily reach their job sites. This includes connecting all parts of your city with efficient road networks and public transportation options like buses, subways, and trams. Ensuring smooth and accessible transit routes will help in reducing the commute time, making it easier for your citizens to reach their workplaces.

Strategic Placement of Job Sites: Careful urban planning is key to preventing labor shortages due to geographical distances. Ensure that industrial and commercial zones are strategically placed near residential areas. This reduces the commuting distance for workers, making it more likely for them to take up jobs in these sectors. Also, consider the placement of amenities and services to support these areas, enhancing the overall quality of life and attractiveness for potential workers.

Use Education, Specialized Training, And Industry Upgrades To Fix High-Skilled Labor

The first step is to evaluate your city’s education infrastructure. Ensure that you have enough schools, high schools, and universities to meet the educational needs of your population. A lack of higher education institutions can lead to a shortage of well-educated and highly educated workers.

Implementing a balanced education policy is crucial. While it’s important to have a well-educated workforce, you also need to ensure that not everyone is overqualified for the available jobs. Use policies such as ‘Education Boost’ to encourage higher education where needed, but be careful not to overdo it.

Consider introducing industry-specific training programs or specialized schools. These institutions can provide the specific skill sets required by your city’s high-tech industries, medical facilities, or other advanced sectors.

Sometimes, the solution lies in attracting high-skilled workers from outside. This can be achieved by building a city that appeals to highly educated individuals. Ensure that your city has adequate amenities, cultural attractions, and a high quality of life.

Upgrade your industrial areas to advanced or specialized industries that require high-skilled labor. This not only helps in absorbing the highly educated workforce but also boosts your city’s economy with high-tech and clean industries.

Regularly monitor the job market in your city. Keep an eye on the types of industries growing and the levels of education they require. Adjust your education policies and city planning accordingly to ensure a match between the job requirements and the available workforce.