CHARLOTTE – You can expect more people on the roads this weekend compared to previous Labor Day weekends.
“A big factor is gas prices, which are the lowest—this year going into Labor Day—than they’ve been since 2010,” AAA Carolinas Communication’s Director, Angela Vogel Daley, says. “We are seeing about an eight-percent decrease from where they were last year.”
She says with the combination of the national unemployment rate down nearly one full point compared to last year and a point-and-a-half from two years ago, the stock market on the rise, and gas prices down, Daley says all those factors provide higher likelihood of travel for the last vacation of the summer.
“Domestically, supplies are good,” Daley says. “Another factor this time of year is hurricanes, and we haven’t seen any major hurricanes comes through the Gulf so far. Obviously September is peak time for that, so that’s something we’ll be monitoring.”
And, Daley says this is a continuing trend of the nation slowly returning from The Great Recession.
“I think we’ve seen a slow and steady increase over the past several years,” Daley says. “There’s always other factors involved; obviously gas prices play a role, but this summer we’ve seen lower gas prices than we did most of last summer. So, we are seeing just a slight increase year over year.”
She says this year’s tropical activity, or lack thereof, has also contributed to favorable gas prices.
“Last year we were dealing with Hurricane Isaac, so that affected the weather, and it did cause a spike in gas prices last year,” Daley says.
Daley says the current conflict in Syria could contribute to added gas price increases. The United State and its allies are deciding whether or not to get involved after allegations of chemical weapons being used against civilians.