Should You Stay or Should You Go…For Labor Day, That Is

This year, Labor Day falls on its latest possible day, September 7th. This hasn’t happened since 2009 and District of Columbia Public and Charter Schools will already have been in session for two weeks when the holiday travel weekend arrives. The American Automobile Association estimates that 35.5 million Americans, including 850,700 in the D.C. area, will travel over the holiday weekend; a slight increase over 2014, but likely tempered by the late date. Will you be traveling, having a staycation, or will folks be coming to visit you?

87 percent of travelers will do so by car and will be wondering about gas prices. We took a look at the retail regular gasoline price averages in Washington, D.C. for the six weeks leading up to Labor Day since 2003 and we are on track to have the lowest average gas price since 2009 when the average price was $2.88. The last five weeks have averaged $3.04, so barring any significant price jumps or drops in this last week before Labor Day, we will average close to the 2010 six week average price of $3.09. Travelers will likely greet this price far better than they have the average for 2011 through 2014 which was $3.84.

The graph below represents the average price for the six weeks prior to the Labor Day holiday every year since 2003. The six week average peaked in 2008 at $4.03 and was at its lowest point over this period in 2003 at $1.76. Note: 2015 includes the five week period of July 28, 2015 to August 31, 2015.

Gasoline Prices 2003 to 2015

Happy and safe travels to you all.

What is this data? The travel data comes from the American Automobile Association’s 2015 Labor Day Travel Forecast. The regular gasoline price data is assumed to be a per gallon price and is derived from the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s weekly retail gasoline prices for Washington.

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