Skyrim Needs Help: Whiterun’s Unemployment Problem Is Far Worse Than US And UK Combined
Skyrim's town of Whiterun is potentially in an economic crisis as its residents face unemployment approaching 10 percent. To put that into perspective, the US unemployment rate was 3.7 percent in August and the UK unemployment rate was 3.6 percent from May through July.
YouTuber Any Austin (via PCGamesN) systematically surveyed each and every person in Whiterun to determine their job status. Many of the named NPCs had jobs, such as Adrianne Avenicci and Ulfberth War-Bear, although some like Amren were unemployed. The survey did not count children as the US outlaws child labor even though Skyrim's pre-industrial society clearly does not. Mila mentions that she works with her mother Carlotta Valentia in Whiterun's merchant quarter.
In addition to footage of the survey, Any Austin created a full "Employment Situation Summary" that reads much like a report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
"Total surface payroll employment is at 77 persons, and unemployment is at 9.4 percent, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today," wrote Austin (who as far as we know does not actually work for the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics).
"Despite the developing unease due to the as-yet-unknown situation in the eastern holds, participation in the labor force is steady and largely unchanged from the last several months of reporting. Mercenary work and military service remain the top providers, and The Companions continue to be the city's single largest private employer, with 10 people housed and provided for by them alone."
The state (in this case, Whiterun itself) is the largest employer in the city with 27 guards alone. There are also attendants, servants, advisors, and of course, Jarl Balgruuf.
Although 10 percent is a distressingly high unemployment rate for a developed country, Austin’s report doesn’t sound too alarmed. "While too high a concentration of non-working persons can indicate an impending instability event, it is the opinion of the Bureau that a number in this range (5-10%) coupled with an equitable rate of unemployment tends to be a marker of a healthy and prosperous economic excess that affords some of its citizens a pursuit of non-essential trades and activities."
In other news, Skyrim's moving mannequins have returned to being straw-filled statues, but one modder has breathed life into them once again.
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