If Santa Claus were paid a salary, he’d be getting a little Christmas present this past year — a small raise.
St. Nick’s annual pay rises 2 percent from last year to $137,795, according to our annual Santa Index, which is based on an analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics wage data for Santa’s many jobs.
Considering all that he does — running the workshop, supervising countless elves, double-checking lists — an extra few thousand bucks is akin to a lump of coal.
Still, it’s more than a lot of people think Santa should get.
Asked how large Santa’s paycheck should be, 37 percent of respondents in a new www.Insure.com survey said he should not be paid at all — that his work should be charitable. Bah, humbug!
Others in the survey were more generous when asked how much Santa should be paid:
Twenty-seven percent said $1.8 billion a year, which is approximately $1 for every child under the age of 15 in the world.
Our Santa Index calculates Santa’s annual paycheck using average hourly wages and our own estimate of how much time the jolly old elf spends on each job.
You think you multi-task? Here’s just a sample:
• Manufacturing executive: As an industrial engineer, Santa keeps the toy factory operational 364 days of the year. Annual pay for eight hours a day: $114,937.
• Negotiator: Santa spends approximately 30 minutes a day as a labor relations specialist, resolving disputes among the elves, dealing with job complaints and coordinating grievance procedures. Annual pay for 30 minutes a day: $4,931.
• Investigator: Determining whether you’re naughty or nice takes good detective work. Santa squeezes his private investigative duties into one hour a day, 30 days a year. Annual pay: $733.
• Reindeer tender: Making sure the reindeer have enough food, water and shelter is only part of it. There’s also refereeing the reindeer games, putting a halt to the mean name-calling and making sure that a certain red-nosed member of the herd is ready for the big night. Annual pay as a ranch worker for one hour every day: $4,219.
• List checker: As a bookkeeper and auditing clerk, Santa not only checks the list — he checks it twice. Annual pay for an hour a day 30 days a year: $529.
• Sleigh driver: With all his years of service, Santa has trillions of safe rooftop takeoffs and landings under his belt and has logged more miles than any pilot in the world. Pay for one night as a flight engineer: $619.
Fortunately, Santa never calls in sick.
Information provided by Jill VonStein, MacDonald Insurance, 110 E. State St., Jefferson, 515-386-8185, copyright: Barbara Marquand, Insure.com.