Gasoline prices this Labor Day are set to be the lowest since 2004 according to GasBuddy, the travel and navigation app used by more North American drivers to save money on gas.
The company predicts a national average of $2.19 per gallon, down nearly 37 cents from last year and the lowest priced Labor Day since 2004’s $1.82 per gallon average.
“With Hurricane Laura now behind us and many refineries returning to service, gas prices will begin to head lower just in time for the Labor Day weekend,” said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis. “This will be the lowest Labor Day weekend gas prices since 2004, closing out an incredible summer at the pump with the most stable and lowest overall price from Memorial Day to Labor Day since 2004 as well. For motorists, the good news doesn’t end with Labor Day: gas prices will likely continue falling as seasonal factors kick in, reducing demand, and in addition, we switch back to cheaper winter gasoline in just a couple of weeks.”
Given the drop in gas prices, GasBuddy’s study on how many hours motorists need to work to pay their annual gasoline expenses found that U.S. motorists can work 19 percent fewer hours on average to pay their annual gasoline bill (72.3) compared to 2019 (88.9).
“Despite the drop in amount of labor needed to fuel the car, it is sadly juxtaposed with historic unemployment rates,” said De Haan. “Fewer hours of work required to fill a gas tank does not offer much relief for millions of Americans without jobs across the country.”
The study looked at the latest state-by-state median wage data available from the Department of Labor (May 2019), as well as data from GasBuddy’s payments card, Pay with GasBuddy, to calculate average yearly demand by state, using the average price on record, by state, on Aug. 14, 2020.
Local gas prices
Average retail gasoline prices in Minnesota have risen 5.7 cents in the past week, averaging $2.13 per gallon Sunday, according to GasBuddy’s daily survey of 2,856 gas outlets in Minnesota. Gas prices in Minnesota are 6.7 cents per gallon higher than a month ago, and stand 35.6 cents per gallon lower than a year ago.
Regular gas prices in International Falls ranged from $2.07 to $2.09 per gallon, according to the site.
According to GasBuddy price reports, the cheapest station in Minnesota is priced at $1.87 per gallon Sunday while the most expensive is $2.29 per gallon, a difference of 42 cents per gallon.
The national average price of gasoline has risen 3.5 cents per gallon in the last week, averaging $2.22 per gallon Sunday. The national average is up 4 cents per gallon from a month ago, yet stands 34.4 cents per gallon lower than a year ago.
Historical gasoline prices for Aug. 31 in Minnesota going back a decade:
- 2019: $2.49 per gallon
- 2018: $2.75 per gallon
- 2017: $2.39 per gallon
- 2016: $2.25 per gallon
- 2015: $2.44 per gallon
- 2014: $3.34 per gallon
- 2013: $3.64 per gallon
- 2012: $3.78 per gallon
- 2011: $3.76 per gallon
- 2010: $2.66 per gallon
"Gas prices have reached their highest post-coronavirus level as Hurricane Laura caused Gulf Coast refineries to shut, limiting production as gasoline demand edged higher," said De Haan. "The rebound in demand comes with just a week left in the summer driving season and isn't expected to continue once the driving season wraps up, but while some may see prices tick higher over the next few days, more decreases are coming to gas prices once Labor Day is over as demand will likely move lower. In addition, the switch back to cheaper winter gasoline will happen in a few weeks, giving more potential downward momentum for prices."