Global “labor shortages” mostly represent the fact that workers have recognized an unprecedented opportunity to demand better working conditions and payment. The latest instance of this is the currently tumultuous Santa Claus market, which is making anyone willing to stuff a pillow down their shirt and wear a curly white beard wig a very hot commodity right now.
The Wall Street Journal explains that Santa demand is extremely high as people return to in-person events this year and the supply is low enough that “working Santas are capitalizing on their scarcity value, bumping up hourly rates and packing their schedules.”
Other Santas, who the article points out are mostly “older, heavier-set men,” are still worried about potential COVID exposure and are still waiting to return to work or have retired early. The result is that Santas are in short supply and cost a whole lot more to book right now.
A great example of what this looks like comes from Santa booking manager Susen Mesco citing one of her recent requests for Christmas talent. “I had one lady call me up two days ago in tears,” Mesco says. “She needed a Santa for her country club. She said, ‘I’m willing to pay anything.’ And I said, ‘That’s not fair.’”
Another instance of the Saint Nick shortage saw the city of Hanford, California’s recreation supervisor Armando da Silva trying in vain to book a Santa beginning in July. He considered a volunteer when he couldn’t hire one, then turned down a volunteer who wasn’t fat or hairy enough for the job. “He would fit as an elf rather than a Santa,” da Silva said. “We were desperate but not that desperate.”
Mesco says she’s been “fielding calls on average every eight minutes” and has never “had to turn customers away” before, but is now almost entirely booked through to the end of the year.
The good news is that Santas are earning approximately “12% more this year” than last, which translates, in some cases, to an increase of an extra $50 per hour or so.
Though Mesco says people can still book a Santa if they’re willing to have him swing by at odd times, we suggest that the Clauses press their advantage and continue to increase their rates in an attempt to finally get proper recompense for the unenviable job of dealing with smelly kids all day.
For more on the Santa Shortage, read the full article at The Wall Street Journal.
Send Great Job, Internet tips to email@example.com