Nobody tell the children: Santa can’t find work.
The unemployment rate of 7.7% means many people are struggling for jobs, and that includes out-of-work baby boomers who think wearing a red suit and listening to whispered Christmas lists in malls could bring easy money, reports Marketwatch.
RELATED: Unemployment Rate at Four-Year Low
“There are folks who look at the job of Santa and say, ‘I can do that,’” says Tim Connaghan, 64, CEO of The Kringle Group, a Riverside, Calif.-based agency representing more than 2,200 Santas told Marketwatch. The Professional Santa Claus School in Denver saw its enrollment double this year.
MarketWatch reports that the agencies that place Santas–yes, there are agencies that place Santas–have found that opportunities for jolly impersonators with no experience are limited. Apparently, the “best” Santas have backgrounds in the entertainment industry, and competition for throne spots is steep.
Places are scarce, and once the right Santa is found for the position, he tends to keep the job for as long as he wants–which means very little turnover and opportunity for new Santas. Once a position is secured, a Santa can expect to receive somewhere in the range of $5,000-$15,000 for the seasonal engagement. Mark Steiner, CEO of Gigsalad.com, an online event-planning database, told MarketWatch, “Most Santas don’t really want to walk out the door for less than $150 for a visit.”
Lacking a robust white beard, but hoping for some extra cash this holiday season? Consider one of these nine ways to make money on the side. And if you’re looking to play Santa without breaking the bank, then consider doing some elf work and DIY-ing your own gifts.