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How Much Should Santa Get Paid?

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Plenty of Americans haven’t gotten much of a raise in recent years. But that doesn’t mean Santa doesn’t deserve one, even if it is rather paltry.

According to the latest annual analysis of this question by the people at Foster City, Calif.-based, the value of Santa’s labor is $137,795 this year.  

That’s a $2,851 bump over Santa’s $134,944 salary last year.

To calculate Santa’s value, estimated the number of hours he might spend at each important task – investigator of the naughty, list checker, workshop manager, delivery driver and many others – and used data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to find the closest matching occupations and average hourly wages. also surveyed 2,000 adults in October to find how people feel about the Santa salary question.

People, it said, tended to be either very stingy or very generous:

  • 37% said Santa should not be paid – his work should be charitable.
  • 27% said $1.8 billion a year, which is approximately $1 for every child under 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.

“The disparity between the two most popular answers reveals that Santa’s salary is a controversial topic,” said Amy Danise, editorial director of “Many people have come to expect free delivery, even in this cold economy.”

Controversial? OK, sure, though certainly not on the level sparked by Fox News broadcaster Megyn Kelly’s “tongue-in-cheek” comments last week that Santa Claus is white.