The big man in red should pull in a salary of just under $138,000 for his annual rounds, toymaking and elf-labor management, according to new analysis and survey data. That's a jump from last year's salary but still way a fraction of the almost $2 billion more than one-quarter of Americans think he deserves.
The numbers come courtesy of an Insure.com analysis of the "value" of Santa's various jobs using data on comparable positions from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
We're not exactly sure what in the BLS database compares with "investigator of the naughty," but Santa's other tasks of workshop management and list-checking are common in many other careers.
The analysis is, of course, not flawless. The world is now home to 2 billion Christians (it was 600 million a century ago) and a growing number of non-Christian celebrants of the Christmas holiday. Visiting the home of every participant within a 12-hour window while piloting a flying sleigh powered by reindeer, Santa can hardly be classified as simply a "delivery driver."
His needed skill in aviation, logistics, stealth and concealment, and animal husbandry, not to mention sheer endurance and speed, defies comparison.
The physical strain of his work is all the more impressive given that most renditions place his body mass index on the higher end of the scale.
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