So how are today's musicians doing economically compared to past years? Not bad if you take the word of the 2010 PNC Christmas Price Index.® The Wealth Management division of Pittsburgh-based PNC Bank is just out with its 27th annual analysis of the gifts contained in The Twelve Days of Christmas.
The survey shows this year's total price tag rose $1,974 to $23,439, a gain of 9.3 percent. One of the biggest factors was the added cost of wages and benefits impacting some entertainers
The cost of hiring the 11 Pipers Piping ($2,356) and 12 Drummers Drumming ($2,552) each rose 3.1 percent after seeing no rise last year. That's good news, but a far cry from 1999 and 2003. In those years, both the pipers and drummers had raises exceeding 20 percent. Those were the only double-digit raises for musicians since the PNC index was started in 1984.
For the birds, you say?
You may be right. The Two Turtle Doves increased 78.6 percent to $100 and the cost of Three French Hens surged 233 percent to $150 this year. And the Partridge (not factoring in the Pear Tree) was up 20 percent to $12.