US running short of Santas
The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has created another supply shortage this Christmas season, according to the leading provider of holiday entertainers: the number of people available to play the role of Santa Claus.
There's been a 121% increase in demand for the jolly bearded man in 2021 compared to the past two years, Hiresanta.com founder Mitch Allen told Business Insider. He also said there are over 1,275 full-season Santa jobs (such as those who work in malls) and over 2,000 hourly Santa gigs still unfilled.
Allen pointed out that there are 10% fewer Santa Claus entertainers this year, because some have died from coronavirus and others aren't doing events because of the pandemic. Many have also retired from the Santa game.
According to Tim Connaghan, the ‘National Santa’ who has appeared in major parades and as the Father Christmas for Toys for Tots, some 18% of his fellow Santas say they're taking the year off.
The Washington Post reported that many Santas have some comorbidities with Covid-19, especially since they tend to be older and overweight.
Supply chain shortages have also limited the availability of Santa costumes.
“There's a lot of needed items that are still on the sea in containers,” a spokeswoman for the company Costumes for Santa told The Washington Post. “Our wholesalers have not gotten their product from China ... Stuff that should have come in August is coming in now.”
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