America’s labour shortage has spread to the Santa Claus economy. Like other industries, demand for workers in this sector has surged as Americans try to return to pre-pandemic life. There are about 3,000 open positions across the country for Kris Kringle look-a-likes at malls, homes and corporate events, according to Mitch Allen, founder of Dallas-based talent agency HireSanta.
The dearth of Santas comes as the US unemployment rate fell more than forecast last month.
At the same time, the pool of available entertainers has declined by about 10% this year, Allen said. It’s an older cohort that has been hit hard by Covid-19. More than 300 Santa entertainers have died from the virus, according to data collected by Allen.
Many more have been scared away by the pandemic. And just like other fields, wages are rising to lure more workers.