WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — If you traveled this Labor Day weekend, you probably noticed gas prices nearly a dollar more than last year.
Wichitans on the road are feeling the hit to their pocketbooks, but it is a familiar trend.
According to AAA, the average price of a gallon of regular gas in Kansas is more than $.90 higher than the same time last year.
“Because we haven’t been producing a lot of oil, not only in Kansas but also in Oklahoma and Texas, they slowed down so much we have less supply out there, and now the market’s opened up, so there’s more demand that’s been driving prices up,” said Jeremy Hill, director, Center for Economic Development and Business Research, Wichita State University.
Experts said, although a slight increase is normal during the holidays, the biggest drivers to overall household costs going up are energy and inflation.
“Inflation at the national level as of July was over five percent, which is pretty high than our long-term average,” Hill said. “When you look at inflation in the Midwest cities like our size, it was actually a 10% increase year-over-year growth.”
However, gas prices in Kansas are currently lower than the national average and are not expected to skyrocket anytime soon.
“Nationally, gas prices today are just a little over $3.18, and the Wichita area is around $2.89,” Hill said.
He said there is relief on the way.
“What’s going to happen is they’re actually going to switch to a winter mix here, if they haven’t, in the next week or two, they’re going to start doing that,” Hill said.
AAA said another factor boosting the national average is Hurricane Ida. The last time Labor Day gas prices were this high was in 2014.