Daily Distraction: Ho-ho-nobody wants to work anymore

The labor crisis is even impacting working Santas

Andy Downing
Columbus Alive
Santa might not make it to town due to shortage

Despite the talking point being parroted by some politicians and news organizations, it's not true that nobody wants to work anymore.

There is, however, a global labor crisis, which has roots in any number of complex factors, from stagnant wages to childcare shortfalls amplified by the ongoing pandemic.

Now, according to the Wall Street Journal, things have gotten so bad that it has even impacted the Santa market. According to the paper, Santa demand is at a new high with a return to more in-person events, while the supply of jolly old men remains low, creating a scenario where “working Santas are capitalizing on their scarcity value, bumping up hourly rates and packing their schedules.” (The scarcity is increased by the reality that Santa is generally portrayed by older, more heavy-set men, both of which are factors that increase the morbidity rate of COVID-19.)

Among the examples presented is that of Armando da Silva, who attempted to hire a Santa in his role as recreation supervisor for Hanford, California, and ended up having to turn to volunteers, passing on one prospect who was too skinny and beardless. "He would fit as an elf rather than a Santa,” da Silva said. “We were desperate but not that desperate."

Read the whole thing here.