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HomeEconomyHours per gallon, January 2024: 6.2

Hours per gallon, January 2024: 6.2

Divide the price of gasoline by the average hourly earnings of private sector production and nonsupervisory workers:

figure 1: Minutes of labor per gallon of regular gasoline – all private NFPs (blue) and leisure and hospitality workers (tan). NBER-defined recession peak-to-trough dates appear gray. Source: EIA and BLS, via FRED, NBER, and author's calculations.

The number of minutes it took to purchase a gallon in January was lower than in January 2020 before the pandemic.

Since the wage distribution is skewed, it makes sense to use the wages of low-income earners to understand how the cost of gasoline changes. This is measured by the hourly earnings of leisure and hospitality workers. The 9.6 minutes in January was less than the value recorded in February 2021.

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