Gas prices in Mississippi are among the lowest in the nation this holiday weekend. GasBuddy, which tracks gasoline prices and trends, reports that in the Vicksburg area, the average for a gallon of regular is a shade over $2.11 in the 39180 Zip Code, and just a few cents more, $2.15, in 39183.
Gas prices are nearly $0.30 lower than last year for everyone from coast-to-coast this Labor Day holiday. The national average is around $2.55, the lowest since Labor Day 2016 when the average was $2.20. The highest prices for gas are in California, with some areas bumping up against $3.70 for a gallon of regular.
But how many hours will you work this year to keep your tank filled?
Because this is Labor Day, GasBuddy wanted to determine just how much labor the average American needed to work to fill up their tanks in a year.
“While it feels nice to have seen gas prices fall so substantially into the last leg of the summer driving season, we wanted to see how motorists in each state may have to work more or less to fill their tanks. This study was an interesting reminder that how much time one spends to pay for gasoline varies drastically and that motorists can lessen the burden by locating low priced stations,” said Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy on its website.
GasBuddy’s state-by-state analysis found that drivers in Mississippi needed to work an average of 100.3 hours to meet their annual needs for gasoline, putting the state on the high end of the labor-for-gas scale.
“Rural communities oftentimes have wages that are lower than urban areas, while also having to commute longer distances with little to no mass transit,” DeHaan said.
The West Coast, Rockies and Southeast all generally required more labor than the Northeast, while the Great Lakes was close to average. Motorists in Nevada had to work nearly 108 hours per year, while those in Montana worked roughly a half-hour less (107.4) and those in Idaho falling into third place (107.1) for hours worked, all well above the U.S. average of 88.9 hours. Meanwhile, motorists in the Northeast region got off easiest, with those in Massachusetts working just 67 hours per year to pay their yearly gasoline bill, followed by Connecticut (70.6 hours) and Maryland (71.7 hours).
“The Northeastern U.S. generally has gas prices at or slightly higher than the national average, but commuters have many more options than driving their cars, which are also generally smaller than the vehicles found in rural communities,” DeHaan said.
The difference between the highest and lowest on the scale amounts to nearly an entire workweek every year.
Gas prices are likely to face additional headwinds into the autumn as the transition back to cheaper winter gasoline begins in just two weeks while demand for gasoline is also set to begin a seasonal downturn. By Thanksgiving, GasBuddy estimates that as many as 10,000 gas stations, primarily in Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana, South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, Missouri but also a handful in the Great Lakes, will drop under $2 per gallon, barring any improvement in U.S. trade relations with China, a recent major factor in oil prices.
For more information and tools to help you find the lowest gas prices, visit GasBuddy.com.