Gas prices are still trying to come down after the expected bump during Labor Day weekend, but that hasn’t stopped gas prices from being the lowest still since 2010 as September gets under way.
And prices could get better, especially with federal employment levels lower than expected.
“Demand typically eases going into the fall, but a high jobless report causes speculation that demand for gasoline may be even lower,” said Mark Jenkins, a spokesman for AAA-The Auto Club Group, in a release. “This report, combined with easing geopolitical tensions between Russia and Ukraine, and refineries beginning to switch from summer to winter blend fuels, all continue to place downward pressure on what is already unseasonably low gas prices.”
That trend, as Jenkins has shared before, could mean gas cheaper than $3 a gallon before the end of the year.
The U.S. Department of Labor reported last week that 142,000 new jobs were created in August, lowering the national unemployment rate slightly to 6.1 percent. While that is a positive growth in jobs, it was lower than analysts had expected.
Oil prices took a hit this past week as well, with a barrel of oil selling for $93.29 on Friday, a drop of $2.67 from the previous week. That is a seven-month low for crude.
The average gallon of gas in Florida was $3.36 on Sunday, down a penny from $3.37 a week ago, and 3 cents from a month ago. It’s 19 cents lower than what it was a year ago, however, AAA reported.
“Some markets are seeing more expensive gasoline compared to last week,” Jenkins said. “Much of that has to do with demand jumping during the Labor Day weekend, causing lower supplies and higher prices. It is possible that prices could inch up toward the middle of the month as refineries prepare to switch to the cheaper-to-produce winter blend gasoline on Sept. 15, but prices usually fall through the remainder of the year.”
The cheapest gas in Land O’ Lakes on Sunday night was $3.19 at the Mobil station on State Road 52 near the Suncoast Parkway, according to GasBuddy. The Shell station at State Road 54 and State Road 56 was listed as the most expensive at $3.37.
Wesley Chapel had some cheaper gas, found once again at Sam’s Club on State Road 56 near Bruce B. Downs Boulevard, where prices were reported at $3.17. Four locations — including a Shell station, 7-Eleven, Hess and Mobil — had gas prices at $3.37.
In Lutz, prices ranged from $3.21 at the Circle K on Van Dyke and Old Tobacco roads, to $3.39 at two Shell stations — one on Van Dyke near Lakeshore Drive, the other at North Dale Mabry Highway at Van Dyke.
Gas prices in Zephyrhills were found from $3.22 at a Mobil station on State Road 54 near Allen Road, to $3.34 at a Citgo on Gall Boulevard and Chancey Road. The cheapest gas in Dade City was $3.25 at three locations — Raceway, Marathon and Clark — while the most expensive, according to GasBuddy, was found at the Chevron station on Fort King Road and Clinton Avenue for $3.31.