Labor is your city's work force. The number of laborers increases constantly, but the more total laborers you have, the slower the rate that new laborers appear. The rate at which you gain them is shown on the City Details window, in the tooltip for the laborers icon. Laborers are given every 30 minutes. For example: if your rate is a laborer every 45 minutes, you will get one after 30 minutes, zero after the next 30 minutes, two after the next, and so on.

The Tribal Gathering, Tribal Fair, Tribal Carnival and Tribal Festival can be constructed from the Trading Post to provide a temporary boost to the rate at which new laborers are acquired.

There are two different types of laborers, Idle and Working.

Idle LaborersEdit

Idle laborers are those that aren't doing anything. They are shown in the top right of the screen as a number next to a little person.

Idle laborers can be used in a number of ways. Training Ground troops, Ox Wagons, HelepolisesCatapultsVineyards (below level 10), and Refinery levels all consume laborers.

Sometimes it is better to keep your idle laborers instead of using them. Technologies like Weapon Export and A Call To Arms use idle laborers to add certain perks, buffs, or resource income to the city. In the case of Weapon Export, idle laborers will produce gold hourly, which can be very beneficial.

Working LaborersEdit

Working laborers are those actively assigned to a certain building. They are not included in the laborers count at the top right. The most work in the Farms or Lumbering Camps. Working laborers can become idle laborers at any time should they be unassigned from their current building/task. Generally, you want to have all of your buildings filled to the max with laborers to benefit your city, as the leftover Idle laborers will usually be more than enough to get the benefits out of technologies that use them.

Labor Generation RateEdit

To calculate a specific spawn rate for your number of laborers and Tribal structures use this formula and replace both instances of L with the total number of laborers and S with the number of structures.

The formula has a few parts. 

if (laborTotal < 140) {laborTotal = 140;}

(this makes sure the log isn't negative)

There is a 'multiplier' part of the equation, that is determined as follows:

if (laborCount < 400) multiplier = 2;

if (laborCount > 400) multiplier = 3 - laborCount / 400;

You take this multiplier and shove it through a max function:

newMultiplier = Math.Max(1, multiplier);

There is also a 'rate bonus' for having tribal gathering structures.  

rateBonus = 1;

If I have *one* tribal gathering structure, then

rateBonus = 0.7;

If I have *more* gathering structures,

rateBonus = 0.7 * (0.92 ^ (structure count - 1))

Ok, then we take the two variables we generated above, and apply it to this beauty of an equation:

(43200 / ((-6.845 * loge(laborTotal / 1.3 - 100) + 55) * newMultiplier)) * rateBonus

Outputs the time in seconds for your City to generate its next laborer.

For an idea of how it varies here you can see the generation rate in seconds for total laborers going from 1 to 1500 without any structures.


Laborer spawn rate in seconds for number of laborers with no structures