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Monday, December 8, 2014

Heads Up: Santa Might Earn More Than You Do

Posted By on Mon, Dec 8, 2014 at 1:53 PM

click to enlarge RANGIZZ/SHUTTERSTOCK

For a guy who only works one night a year, Santa Claus manages to bring home an incredible amount of cash. According to the insurance-site Insure's annual Santa Index, Santa will earn $139,924 this year. Surprised? Wait, there's more. He's actually scored a raise this year, earning 1.5% more this year than in 2013.

Insure created a list of Santa's tasks and finds the closest matching occupations and associated average wages from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Factors like transportation (sleighs probably have good MPG), labor (lot of chimneys to shimmy down), and production (not sure how they determined the elf minimum wage) are all taken into account.

Most of Santa's wages are not, as you might expect, earned on Christmas Eve. Most of Santa's paycheck is made running the workshop (a job likened to being an industrial engineer) and smaller roles, such as taking care of the reindeer (like a farmhand), or testing cookies (like an agricultural inspector), which bring in smaller returns.

Unhappy that you're paid less than Santa? We get that, plenty of people feel the same. But it's complicated. An equal number of people feel the man is severely underpaid.

Insure also took a survey of nearly 900 adults, and found that plenty of people are concerned about the wage gap. Of the group surveyed, 29% thought that Santa should work for free, while another 29% felt that Santa deserved something closer to $1.5 billion, which would give him one dollar for every kid under the age of 15 on the planet (Not sure if they've factored in households that observe Hanukkah, Kwanza, or Festivus. And what about the naughty kids? How much is coal going for these days?).

There's also a debate going on over the amount of money Santa should be spending on gifts. The majority of adults surveyed wanted him to keep each household on a strict budget, between $200 and $400 a year. We're not sure why anyone is questioning his generosity; its not like it's coming out of our pockets, right?

Interested in a more detailed audit of Santa's earnings and expenses? You can check Insure's math for yourself here.
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David L. Garcia

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