CINCINNATI, Oh. (April 29, 2019)— One week after the U.S. State Department announced the end of waivers for countries to import oil from Iran, increasing crude oil prices and pump prices show no signs of slowing down.
With a four-cent jump on the week, today’s national gas price average sets a new high for the year at $2.88. This average may only be seven cents more than a year ago, but it is nearly 20 cents more than a month ago and 63-cents more expensive than at the beginning of the year.
“Compared to the beginning of this year, motorists have definitely felt an increasing squeeze on their wallets at the pump,” said Jenifer Moore, AAA spokesperson. “These increases mean Americans are having to work more to afford to fill-up their gas tanks. AAA found that Americans must work 22% longer than at the start of the year to buy one gallon of unleaded gasoline- that’s 7.3 minutes compared to 5.76 minutes in January.”
Working with OPIS, AAA identified the median income for each county in the country broken down to an income by minute assuming a 40-hour workweek. The data-points on the impact of rising gas prices on American workers can be found here.
The average hourly earnings in the United States is $27.70 per hour, around 46.1 cents a minute, as of March 31. That’s up from $27.66 an hour in February. The average gasoline price as of Friday, April 26, was compared to the income per minute, finding that counties in the Southeast have been hit the hardest, especially in some parts of Kentucky. For example, in McCreary County, some workers are working an additional 4 minutes when compared to January in order to buy a gallon of gasoline.
Hamilton County, Ohio residents, with a median income of $52,389, are working almost a minute and a half more now compared to January 2019 in order to buy a gallon of gasoline.
The current price for regular gas in Hamilton County, OH is $2.71, an increase of seven cents over the weekend.
With 17 states within a dime of or already at $3/gal or more, Americans can expect the national average to likely surpass 2018’s high of $2.97 set during Memorial Day weekend,” added Moore.
A June 2018 survey by AAA found Americans were spending seven percent of their income on gasoline, up 1.5 percent from 2017. That meant a person making $45,000 annually was shelling out over $3,000 annually on gasoline purchases during the year. Additionally, household spending on transportation is a large expense for American households, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS). “It influences many of their personal decisions, including where they live and work.”
AAA provides motorists some simple tips for improving fuel economy and stretching a tank of gas farther between fill-ups:
- Observe the speed limit. Not only is it safer, it can help you save money.
- Lose the weight. The heavier your car, the more fuel it uses.
- Accelerate gradually. Avoid jackrabbit starts.
- Drive during cooler parts of the day. Cooler, denser air can boost power and mileage.
- Maintain recommended tire pressure. Low pressure reduces fuel economy and can damage tires.
Drivers can save at the pump by using the AAA Mobile App to find the cheapest gas prices in their area.
AAA members can also find additional savings by signing up for the Shell Fuel Rewards Program. Members can sign up for free and save five cents per gallon at participating Shell stations.
AAA provides automotive, travel, and insurance services to 59 million members nationwide and nearly two and a half million members in Ohio. AAA advocates for the safety and mobility of its members and has been committed to outstanding road service for more than 100 years. AAA is a non-stock, non-profit corporation working on behalf of motorists, who can now map a route, find local gas prices, discover discounts, book a hotel, and track their roadside assistance service with the AAA Mobile app (AAA.com/mobile) for iPhone, iPad and Android. For more information, visit www.AAA.com.