Consumers have seen the most expensive summer at the pump since 2014 with an average of $2.73 per gallon thus far, according to GasBuddy. The average gas price over Labor Day weekend is expected to be $2.84 per gallon, a 20 cent increase from Labor Day 2017.
“It’s been consistently a more painful summer at the pump than what we’ve been accustomed to when compared to the last few summers,” says Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy. “Without major hurricanes, we should continue to see prices gently decline in the weeks ahead as demand begins to slow into the autumn, wrapping up the priciest summer at the pump since 2014, but overall, with a moderately less sting than what we saw earlier on this decade."
While gas prices have remained high, motorists have worked hard to fill their tanks. Taking into account the average wages across the nation from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American needs to perform an hour and 48 minutes of labor to earn enough money to fill a tank of gasoline.
When gas prices were $3.58 per gallon during the summer of 2014, motorists had to work 2 hours and 30 minutes to fill their tank, and in 2008 when gas prices were $3.84 per gallon, motorists had to work 3 hours to fill their tanks.
On average, motorists have also shelled out more than $1.11 billion per day on gasoline purchases this season, up from a decade low of $912 million per day during the summer of 2016. This summer’s total fuel bill, while the highest since 2015, will still be the third lowest since 2011.