Sorry kids, there's a Santa shortage

Santa Claus is c̶o̶m̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶t̶o̶ ̶t̶o̶w̶n̶ quitting. Santa bookers (a real job, supposedly) are struggling to fill Christmas parties with Santas. Today's labor shortage, which greatly affects industries such as service and retail, has stretched all the way to the North Pole, causing a tight demand for bearded, heavy-set, older men with a jolly disposition.

A WSJ journalist spoke to Santas around the country. Former Saint Nicks cite Covid concerns and lifestyle changes as reasons they're done with Santa gigs, and the Santas who are sticking around are demanding better pay. Brian Wilson, who works for an Orange County Santa network, told WSJ about the raise that Santas are getting.

Available Santas know they are hot commodities. "The ones that are working have raised their price," [Brian Wilson] said, noting that Santas he works with are currently charging between $175 to $300 an hour, depending on where they live and the number of hours for the gig—asking about $50 more than usual.