COLUMBUS — Several 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 4 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.
Ohio’s gas price average sits at $2.70, which is one cent less than yesterday, six cents more than a month ago and five cents less than a year ago. Ohio’s average price for regular unleaded gasoline has risen 78 cents since Dec. 31, 2018, when it sat at $1.92 per gallon.
“Compared to the beginning of this year, motorists have definitely felt an increasing squeeze on their wallets at the pump,” said Jeanette Casselano, 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 average gasoline price today was compared to the income per minute finding that counties in the Southeast have been hit the hardest, especially in some parts of Kentucky.
The counties hit hardest in Ohio include:
- Auglaize County (must work 41.7 percent longer than the start of the year to buy one gallon of unleaded gasoline – 5.55 minutes, compared to 3.92 minutes)
- Coshocton County (must work 41.2 percent longer than at the start of the year to buy one gallon of unleaded gasoline – 7.76 minutes, instead of 5.5 minutes)
- Morrow County (must work 40.4 percent longer than at the start of the year to buy one gallon of unleaded gasoline – 6.41 minutes, instead of 4.47 minutes)
- Seneca County (must work 40.4 percent longer than at the start of the year to buy one gallon of unleaded gasoline – 6.99 minutes instead of 4.98 minutes).
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 Casselano.
Additional gas price information is available at gasprices.aaa.com.
Kimberly Schwind is a senior public relations manager at AAA Ohio Auto Club.