|December 7, 2021 01:33 PM
|Representative Jonathan Fritz
|All House members
|Santa Labor Shortage Response
|Due to the pandemic and flubbed policies from Washington, D.C. and our Governor’s Office, Pennsylvania has joined the rest of the country in facing a dramatic labor shortage.
As we approach the holiday season, it has become evident that the labor shortage has affected an area near and dear to the heart of many Pennsylvanians at this time of year: A shortage of Santas.
According to the Wall Street Journal, “A tight labor market has made it tough to find truck drivers, restaurant workers and retail employees. Add to that list Santas, who are both in high demand, some bookers say, and short supply as some would-be Saint Nicks stay on the sidelines of the labor market. Working Santas are capitalizing on their scarcity value, bumping up hourly rates and packing their schedules.”
One estimate has demand for Santas increasing 121 percent this year while the availability of Santas has decreased ten percent.
One cannot doubt that this Christmas and holiday season is important for many Pennsylvanians and restored merriment is essential for mental health and general well-being. Let's make holidays special again!
After a year of lockdowns and travel restrictions forced Pennsylvanians into not being able to experience the magic of the holiday season last year, the fact that the Santa shortage is occurring this year is especially distressing since some families, employers, and municipalities are returning to pre-pandemic Christmas traditions.
For many, Santa is a critical component of those celebrations.
Santas help create lifelong memories—from photos with children, riding by on a fire truck during a parade, or leading a gift exchange at a work party—and they are an indispensable holiday tradition for many Pennsylvanians.
Those working as or volunteering to be Santa follow in a long tradition of being on the front lines of holiday merriment. As we look to get as many Pennsylvanians back to work as possible to recover from the economic effects of government-induced shutdowns, we should not forget the holiday season shortage of Santas currently facing us.
As such, in the near future, I intend on introducing legislation to provide a modest tax credit for those hiring Santas or Santas working on their own to help offset Santa-related costs. This would incentivize Pennsylvanians to take on the role of Santa, or for companies and organizations to find Santas by reducing Santa-related costs.
A small, limited Santa tax credit would have a minimal impact on revenues and could lead to increased economic activity as those seeking out Santa-related events will make purchases at small businesses across Pennsylvania.
It could also go a long way in restoring the holiday spirit at a time when we need it the most.
I hope you join me in co-sponsoring this legislation and working together to save Santa here in Pennsylvania.