Santa Makes Six Figures – or Nothing

Many people think Santa should work for free and, if he calls in sick, the best replacement is movie star Tim Allen.

Those are the results of an survey that looked at how people view the “value” of Santa’s many jobs.

The annual analysis of the average wages associated with Santa’s duties found that his work is worth $137,795 this year, a small bump over the average wages for the same jobs last year ($134,944).

To calculate Santa’s value, estimated his number of hours at each task – investigator of the naughty, list checker, workshop manager and delivery driver, among many others – and used data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to find the closest matching occupations and average hourly wages.

More than a third of adults nationwide go all Grinch, however, over the issue of a Santa salary. When asked how much Santa should be paid:

  • 37% said Santa should not be paid and that his work should be charitable.
  • 27% said $1.8 billion a year, which is approximately $1 for every child under the age of 15 in the world.
  • 15% said between $100,000 and $200,000 a year.
  • 12% said under $100,000 a year.
  • 9% said more than $200,000 a year.

Those who expect free service also likely wouldn’t give Santa any sick days. Nonetheless, if Santa calls in sick on Christmas Eve, actor Tim Allen snags the sleigh keys based on his past job experience in the lead role in The Santa Clause, respondents said.

Other possible movie star fill-ins:

  • 15% liked John Goodman (The Year Without a Santa Claus).
  • 13% liked Tom Hanks (Polar Express).
  • 2% liked Billy Bob Thornton (Bad Santa).
  • 1% liked Bryan Cranston of “Breaking Bad” (‘Twas the Night).

Among famous fill-ins because they’ve got plenty of money to spend on presents:

  • 14% wanted Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates.
  • 7% wanted investing guru Warren Buffett.

Among famous fill-ins who’d “keep the elves in line”:

  • 5% liked tycoon Donald Trump.
  • 3% liked Fox TV host Bill O’Reilly.
  • 2% went ho ho ho for the NFL’s New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick.