Gas prices up 32 days and counting - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Gas prices up 32 days and counting

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HICKORY, NC (WBTV) -

If it has seemed as if gasoline prices have been rising every day you are right.

AAA says nationwide gasoline prices have gone up for 32 days in a row as of Monday.  Prices have risen 13 percent on average or close to 50 cents since the first week of January.

Analysts say increasing demand in China and India have driven crude oil prices up.

In the USA, refineries are not producing at full capacity due to maintenance issues and the beginning of the switch at some facilities to the summer blends.

Experts say the recent spike in price could be a long term trend but it is too early to say for sure.

"It's outrageous," said one driver while filling up in Hickory Monday afternoon.

Prices in the Hickory area ranged from $3.64 to $3.72.

"It just doesn't make any sense," said Janie Alford.

Alford said with more of her paycheck going to payroll taxes and prices on the increase at the pump, a lot of her paycheck is winding up in the gas tank of her Windstar.

"I don't like that the price is going up."

Randy Woody of Lenoir says the price hike is especially tough on him.

"That's quite a bit of money for a person who is unemployed."

Woody said the higher prices make it tough to drive around and look for work.

"It's just too expensive to do that and take care of your family, but still, I need a job."

Chris Fox said the higher prices are limiting where he can look for work. Instead of looking beyond Conover where he lives, Fox said his search area is limited.

"I can maybe go ten miles from where I live."  

State Employment officials admit the rising gas prices are having a bearing on where people can look for work and encourage people to conduct their search online when possible.  

Even so, with the unemployment rate in double digits, most who are looking for a job say at some point a face to face meeting with a prospective employer is essential to have a chance at getting hired.

"So we do what we have to do," said Randy Woody.

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