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I have found that in all of my play throughs that there is a devastating lack of NPC on station . this hurts both the immersion gameplay in my opinion and makes locating and hiring personal very difficult. Just this evening I stopped at 4 stations in my session and came across a total of 3 npc . One station didn't even have a trader at the desk. Is this a plan by design , would having at least a minimal spawn rate of npc at every station hurt the game? Performance wise, plan wise?
How long was the game running prior to the npc drop-off, how many ships/stations etc are there in your game, and is it modded - if so, roughly how many mods? All of these factor in to npc spawns for some reason. My advice when this happens is to save, quit out of the game, and reload. It solves the issue for me every time. It seems to me, and I may be wrong about this, but it seems to me that when my cpu is worked extensively, the first thing to "glitch" in any way is the npc. They all disappear save for the managers and pilots. Once I reload the X4 program everything is back to normal.