The Elder Scrolls faces an unemployment crisis as Skyrim’s Whiterun is revealed to have a higher rate of people out of work than both the UK and US combined, making life in the Bethesda RPG potentially more difficult for wizards, Imperials, and Stormcloaks.
A survey of Whiterun conducted by YouTuber Any Austin finds that of the 87 people that live in the idyllic, RPG city, 77 are employed, and nine out of work. That sounds encouraging, but quick calculations reveal that Whiterun thus has an unemployment rate of a whopping 9.4%. The UK’s latest employment statistics show that 3.6% of the working population are without a job, compared to 3.7% in the US. At a combined 7.3%, this means Whiterun has a higher level of unemployment that both countries put together.
But it isn’t all doom and gloom. Of Whiterun’s unemployed, some are children while others are of retirement age. There is also a range of economic opportunity present in the city in the form of merchants, farmers, and mercenaries, with Any Austin predicting that the unfortunate Whiterunners currently out of work are likely to find themselves back in gainful employment in a short amount of time.
“This economic stability continues to draw in new workers from all over Skyrim, including single-service mercenaries and mercenary applicants; point-to-point travel services; and transient mercantilism,” Any Austin reports. “Those who are unemployed tend to be dressed, fed, and occupied in some capacity, meaning they likely won’t remain unemployed for an excessive period of time.
“A number in this range coupled with an equitable rate of unemployment tends to be a marker of a healthy and prosperous economic excess…It can also indicate that workers have some work manoeuvrability, as they can safely be unemployed for some period of time while awaiting new work.”
Any Austin has collected their data by completing a census of every NPC in Skyrim, then speaking with each of them to determine their work status. Other findings show that the largest private occupation comes from offering a companion service to Skyrim’s protagonist, while the state is Whiterun’s largest employer, retaining 27 guards to protect the city’s various municipal buildings and amenities. Any Austin also credits Whiterun’s economic prosperity to consistent “good field yields”, favourably comparing the city to Clock Town from The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask, where the unemployment rate is a troubling 17.5%.
In other news, the living, moving “manakins” found inside a house in Solitude were recently removed by Bethesda, but have since been reinstated thanks to modders. You may also want to check out some of the best Skyrim mods, or maybe some of the other best games like Skyrim, where hopefully joblessness is not so much of a concern.