Banking & Finance

Plenty of Cheer for Santa as Salary Reaches $152K

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Santa Claus has plenty to be jolly about as for the third straight year; he’s seen his salary increase, according to Insure.com’s annual Santa Index.

Drawing from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Insure placed Saint Nick’s pay at $152,367 in 2018, an all-time high. His salary is up 1.96% from 2017, not quite enough to keep up with inflation.

“Despite consistent increases in wages, Santa is paying more for toy parts, organic milk and reindeer feed than before and, thus, probably hasn’t seen any extra money,” said Insure.com consumer analyst Penny Gusner.

While there’s no BLS data on the exact pay of a cookie and milk taster or professional gift-wrapper, Insure.com approximated Santa’s duties to existing ones, such as agricultural inspector and packagers, respectively.

To determine Santa’s salary, Insure.com figured how many hours per day he worked at each job and how many days per year. Running the workshop, for example, requires eight hours per day, 364 days a year. With a median hourly wage of $43.13 (approximated to industrial engineers), this was Santa’s highest-paying duty, earning him $124,468 in 2018.

Most of Santa’s duties saw small wage gains over 2017, the largest of which were sleigh driving (airline pilots, copilots and flight engineers) at 5% with a median wage of $77.54 for 10 hours on one day, gift-wrapping at 4% with a wage of $12.12 for 12 hours over 14 days and reindeer handler (farmworkers, farm, ranch and agricultural workers) at 4%, coming in at a wage of $13.38 for an hour daily, every day of the year.

Only two of his jobs running the North Pole saw a drop in wages: professional shopper (sales and related workers) was down 8% to $19.32 and announcer – he does declare “Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!” after all – was down 5% to $20.07.

Among his other duties are letter-reader (correspondence clerks, up 1% to $18.32 per hour), finding out who’s been naughty and who’s been nice (private detective and investigators, up 3% to $26.48), going down chimneys (building, cleaning workers and others, up 2% to $15.23) and gift distributor (shipping, receiving and traffic clerks, up 2% to $16.25).

Saint Nick’s salary of more than $150,000 puts him firmly in the upper class. According to Investopedia, the middle class is often defined as those earning between $40,500 and $122,00.

“Middle class status varies widely because of fluctuating costs of living across the U.S. The North Pole’s cost of living is likely inexpensive, given it’s generally undesirable year-round temperatures and lack of Target stores, so Father Christmas’ salary likely stretches quite far,” Gusner said.

A full breakdown of Santa’s duties and wages can be found here.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.