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bgn

Trying to minimize unemployment

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Greetings--

I am currently playing a region of five cities, all connected and all with room for expansion, and am trying to figure out how to keep unemployment from getting out of hand, I now understand from some of you that in order to keep everyone employed, C + I should be about half of R and no more. So here are the statistics for my five cities:

Saybrook: 42,301 R, 13,740 C, 17,535 I

Rummidge: 25,219 R, 10,082 C, 1960 I

Wain's Cotting: 4599 R, 1300 C, 727 I

Loxford: 4622 R, 2145 C, 698 I

Portsmouth: 11,980 R, 2994 C, 5240 I

All these cities have residential and commercial demand up to the top of the RCI bar graph.

As you see, only Rummidge and Wain's Cotting have C + I to about half of R. Loxford has them to 4/7 of R (perhaps not enough to worry about, particularly for a farming village), Portsmouth has them to 2/3 of R (?!), and Saybrook to 3/4 of R (!!) Do these cities suffer from enough unemployment for me to worry about, and if so, what can I do about it? Do I zone more residential to get the R figures up to snuff, paradoxical as it may seem? Or do I zone more commercial? If I do the former, do I ignore news ticker messages that "sims scout for office space"? Please advise. Thanks in advance.

BGN

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Short answer: It depends.

As you can see, that answer sucks, but without extensive knowledge of the city it must suffice. However!

Long answer: The Census Repository Facility is an excellent information tool. What you're specifically looking for is your residential ($, $$, $$$) capacities versus their drives. If the former exceeds the latter, it means you have too many of that residential type for the jobs in that city to sustain them.

Since you have several cities hooked together, and that the drives only take into consideration local jobs, having your residentials exceed the job capacity of the city might not be an issue. My suggestion? Keep an eye on the information but don't worry too much unless no job zots show up. :)

And yeah, feel free to ignore that silly "slim scouts for office space" message. It's about as accurate as a Russian nuke.

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You also have to take into account the age of your sims. Not every sim is a working sim. Some are young and go to school. Some are old and are retired. Look at your population age graph to see how many of your sims are actually of working age. This will give you a better idea of how balanced your working sims are with jobs avaliable.

Usually I don't worry too much about this. I just try to zone according to the demand charts and keep an eye out for 'no job' zots. It just depends much detail you want to worry about as you are playing the game.

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It is a matter of balance, as you've noted. Only about half the Sims go to work. As someone else noted, you have to think about the age of your Sims as well. Take a look at the population by age graph and the display. If you are getting a lot of dark blue on the display, the Sims are ageing out.

It is also important to keep an eye on education levels. You want them up as far as possible when you are trying for CO$$$ tall buildings. And remembers, while there may be thousands of jobs in one of these, most of them are R$ and R$$. Companies have few R$$$ executives. Expect a preponderance of clerical workers (mostly R$) so be sure to keep a good selection of types.

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  • Original Poster
  • So if there are "no job" zots--and I've had them sporadically in Saybrook, but only in one particular neighborhood, which makes me suspect the zots have to do with commute time and traffic as much as with the lack of jobs per se--should I zone yet more commercial, even if C + I are already about 3/4 R?

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    If you start getting no-job zots, put it in pause and trace the routes to work (if any) with the route query operator (ALT+/). If you can't figure out the problem, look really hard at your public transit.

    If you see a lot of pedestrian tracks, even with the NAM, you should think about bus/subway links and if it is across town, an internal monorail or ground rail system.

    The non-street solutions may cause a considerable amount of urban redevelopment, just like in real life. This is another phase in city development, usually.

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    Welcome to how City Planners in real life (and Central Governments too) have to deal with such questions as your unemployment issue.

    The guys above have made valid points, but I'll try and give some different angles of attack.

    The Moose is right there with transit options for within in the city tile itself. Some heavy rail, monorail, bus stops all coupled with Park and Ride facilities could make your transit system more efficient and accessible between residents and jobs. You could go down the asphalt path and maybe have a crack and some road upgrades, upgrades to avenues or one-way streets, or even go the whole hog and build express or motorways (highways) to give better connections between jobs and residents. I have also noted you have inter-connected city tiles which means efficient and readily available neighbour-tile access by road, highway, rail, mono rail or even (no wont suggest Ferry) need to be in place to allow inter-tile commuting which can spur things along including making no-job lots disappear.

    If you want to try something non transit, tinker with taxes to slow down demand of one type, or increase demand of another. But beware for the unwise it can play havoc with one's finances if they are not careful. And remember your parks, plaza's and green spaces to help increase desirability which brings in more wealthier sims and more substantial developments. Oh and do not forget pollution.

    All these are the options you have in combating unemployment that I use to keep unemployment down :D

    Oh one last thing, mix your zoning variety and do not be afraid to mix and match residential and commercial zones together too - it makes for interesting development and as for my biggest city tile of 1.3 million - I get a "walking city"

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    I now understand from some of you that in order to keep everyone employed, C + I should be about half of R and no more.

    C+I should be half of R and no less. One job is assigned for roughly every two people, which means if C+I is less than half of R, there will not be enough jobs for your residents.

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    C+I should be half of R and no less. One job is assigned for roughly every two people, which means if C+I is less than half of R, there will not be enough jobs for your residents.

    Actually, C+I can legitimately range from about 40% to 60% of R. A lot of it has to do with the age distribution of your residents.

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    Naturally. When I open a city, I do a quick calculation on this ratio from the opening dialogue, and decide the area of concentration for the start of the session. Don't forget to stay in the black.

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    So if there are "no job" zots--and I've had them sporadically in Saybrook, but only in one particular neighborhood, which makes me suspect the zots have to do with commute time and traffic as much as with the lack of jobs per se--should I zone yet more commercial, even if C + I are already about 3/4 R?

    You'll want to check the wealth level of your "no job" zots. Most of the time, especially in smaller cities, you'll only see them over one wealth level, and that level is usually high wealth. If that's the case, then it's not just a matter of zoning more places to work. Rather, you need to zone the right kinds of places. If you only see them over the high wealth residents, for example, then you'll want more C$$, C$$$, IM, and IHT. Dirty industry, farms, and CS$ will not help at all, as there are no jobs in those zones that high wealth residents can take. (Doctors won't work at the car repair shops.) If you're seeing them over the low-wealth residents, the problem is probably not specifically a zoning issue, because R$ can work anywhere. (Office buildings need janitors.) If that's the case, check to make sure your roads aren't congested. You usually only see "no job" zots over R$ when it's too hard for them to get to a job, rather than having no jobs available.

    I suspect that it's the high-wealth residents that aren't finding work (or perhaps the medium as well). In order to get the right kinds of jobs for those people, you'll need to zone commercial in areas with a good amount of traffic, no pollution, and amenities nearby such as a plaza or one of the rewards. You'll also need to make sure that there are enough wealthy residents to support the office buildings, and for that, education facilities are most important. When the residents are better educated, their wealth levels will rise, which will increase the demand for better office buildings, which will replace the CS$ buildings and provide jobs for your residents.

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  • Original Poster
  • Well, here's a progress report. I've been playing this region all month, and have the population at about twice what it was when I first posted. My new zoning has been almost all residential. I've also been keeping track of the proportion of C+I to R regionwide (taking into account commuters), and it has consistently been slightly under two-thirds C+I to R no matter how much new residential I zone. I haven't had any no-job zots lately, though. How much unemployment should I worry about? Are we talking about eternal commuter loops?

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    The easy way to find eternal commuter loops is look on the traffic volume display for red roads or red railroads (separate button). If the traffic is greater than the population on any of the connections you have an eternal commuter loop. All you need to do to stop it is break the path somewhere.

    Best trick is to not have more than one path between cities, and try to keep the layout in a tree rather than a network.

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