Santa jobs market: big boots to fill

Passionate about Christmas? Well-groomed, outgoing and a confident public speaker? You might just be the person — new pandemic restrictions permitting — to take on a seasonal job as a Santa Claus.

Demand for Santas has been surging. In the US, vacancies are up 121 per cent on 2019 levels at, an agency that does what it says on the gift tag. Thousands of jobs are open across the industry. Some are for the full holiday season in retail destinations. Others are gigs that are paid by the hour visiting homes and offices to dispense gifts and a “Ho, Ho, Ho!” or two.

British Santas are also back in demand after a woeful 2020. This mirrors 2019. The UK went on a Santa hiring spree just before the pandemic hit. In the first week of October 2019, nearly 170 of every million jobs advertised on online recruitment platform were for Santas, more than double the 2018 comparative and quadruple 2017.

But this time there is also a labour shortage, from which it would appear even the North Pole is not immune.

This is one of the few jobs you are more likely to get if you are older. But that also means qualified Santas have a high propensity to retire or pass away, says Others are deterred by Covid from what is inevitably a job that sits uneasily with social distancing.

Omicron is likely to cause more than a few grotto closures.

Readers thinking of switching out of banking or broking should bear in mind that the rewards may be heart-warming rather than wallet-filling. American Santas earn around $30 an hour. Plenty of the UK roles pay £12 an hour or even less.

Skilling up should be one way to get paid more. Graduates of The Santa Claus Conservatory — which describes itself as “The Stanford of Santa Schools” — would certainly hope to recoup the fees.

This could help amortise the initial capital outlay — not all employers supply costumes. An exquisitely booted, suited and bearded Santa can easily spend several hundred pounds on looking the part. But the joy on little people’s faces? Priceless.

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