12/7/2012 7:30 PM ET|
How much should Santa make?
From running the world's largest toy workshop to minding the reindeer, Santa wears many hats. Find out what his work is worth and what his life insurance might cost.
Everyone knows Santa is a busy man. It’s not just keeping track of who’s naughty and nice. He’s a letter reader, list double-checker, manufacturing executive, sleigh driver, reindeer wrangler, product distributor and more.
All told, Santa would earn $134,944 this year, according to our analysis of wages from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That's up 1.5% from last year's Santa Index of $132,950.
Determining how much it would cost to replace someone's income -- or the unpaid work a person does for a family -- is an important step in deciding how much life insurance to buy. Of course, no one could replace Santa, nor will the world ever need to. Nonetheless, following are some of the tasks we considered when compiling this year's Santa Index:
● Industrial engineer. Making toys might sound like fun and games, but it's not child's play. As an industrial engineer running the North Pole workshop, Santa supervises the design, development and testing of every gadget and trinket the elves produce. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job includes quality and inventory control, cost analysis, logistics and management of human -- er, elf, -- work factors. Annual earnings for eight hours a day every day: $111,792.
- Labor relations specialist. Elves are a merry bunch, but that doesn't mean disputes don't erupt. Coordinating grievance procedures, handling complaints and resolving disagreements are all part of Santa's job. We figure he spends at least half an hour a day dealing with elf labor issues. Annual earnings: $5,167.
- Correspondence clerk. The millions of letters from children can't go unread. Fortunately, Santa is a speed-reader. An hour a day as a correspondence clerk for 100 days a year would earn him $1,656.
- Professional shopper. Think of the nightmare on Christmas morning if Santa didn't carefully select who received which toy. Susie would get the pair of skates, and Johnny would get the sled. Poor Nelly would get a storybook she's already read. Eight hours a day, 15 days a year spent selecting presents would yield $2,303.
- Rancher. Reindeer don't take care of themselves. Santa feeds and cleans up after the herd, supervises reindeer games and steps in when name-calling gets out of hand. Annual earnings for one hour a day every day: $4,234.
- Private investigator. Seeing you sleeping, knowing when you're awake and tracking the naughty and nice would normally be a 24/7 operation. If he squeezes in an hour of sleuthing a day in the month leading up to Christmas, the annual earnings would be $701.
- Accounting clerk. Making lists and checking them twice for an hour a day during December would bring in $401.
- Shipping and receiving clerk. The miracle of single-handedly distributing toys to every boy and girl overnight earns Santa a grand total of $146.50. Beat that, Federal Express.
- Pilot. Guided only by the red glow of a reindeer nose, Santa drives his sleigh through the foggy night air and performs millions of rooftop takeoffs and landings. Average earnings for an airline pilot for 10 hours: $568.
Although carefully calculated, our Santa Index has one limitation. Nowhere in the federal labor data is a wage statistic for holiday magic making. That, dear readers, is priceless.
The Santa Index 2012: Earnings details
BLS occupation used
Hours per day
Days per year
Mean hourly wage
Manufacturing executive (workshop)
Sales and related workers
Packers and packagers, hand
Labor negotiator (with elves)
Labor relations specialists
Company representative in mall
Customer service representatives
Investigator (knows if you’ve been bad or good)
Private detectives and investigators
List checker (checking it twice)
Bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerks
Taking care of reindeer
Farmworkers, farm, ranch and aquacultural animals
Snow plow driver
Highway maintenance workers
Airline pilots, co-pilots and flight engineers
Going down chimneys (chimney sweep)
Building cleaning workers
Cookie and milk taster
Deliveries via sleigh (distributor)
Shipping, receiving and traffic clerks
Announcer (“Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”)
Public address system and other announcers
Wage source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
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If you look at the country realistically
1. he would have already been pushed out of his job for reasons of:
b. no formal education
c. salary caps
2. the unions would have caused the total collapse of X-mas entirely
a. the elves have no representation
b. the teamsters would be crying about him doing his own delivering.
The fact is if not for the fact that Christmas is a financially explosive time
for many businesses, the trade unions, corporate america and government
agencies, all designed to inhibit growth in middle america and especially
in proven entities that they haven't been able to tax more, poor Santa and
Christmas itself would soon disappear
I’m not sure where these guys are getting thier figures but if some guy could really magically deliver billions of packages in a single night all by himself he could make billions or dollars every year off that service. And that doesn’t even include what he would make for running an operation that builds billions of toys every year. Sorry but if Santa Claus were a real person running a real for profit business he would be one of the richest men in the world.
If you want to look at it that way then you have to give to the fact that everything santa is giving away is considered a donation. So a tax write off comes into play somewhere in there so that would mean that is would be making somewhere around 2 or 3 milliion a year when it all is said and done. We the people know better than that.
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Homeowners associations ban them and environmentalists love them. All that aside, though, a clothesline saves you money.
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