Some U.S. gas prices higher than federal minimum hourly wage (Infographic)

The price per gallon in some parts of the country have surpassed the federal minimum wage, $7.25 per hour.



Gasoline prices are displayed outside a convenience store as a motorist drives by May 26 in Thornton, Colorado.

VICTOR SWEZEY, Southwest Journalist

AUSTIN, Texas — With the dramatic rise in gas prices across the country showing no signs of abating, a handful of the most expensive stations have crossed a crucial milestone: the federal minimum wage. 

The federal minimum wage is $7.25 for “covered nonexempt employees,” according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

According to CBS News, 15 gas stations in California had gas prices higher than the federal minimum wage as of Wednesday. Furnace Creek Fuel, inside Death Valley National Park, topped the list with a price of $8.55 per gallon. The average price of gas nationally was $4.63 per gallon, according to AAA.

Texas shares the federal government’s minimum wage, meaning motorists in California are paying more for a gallon of gas than many Texans make for an hour of work. California’s minimum wage currently sits at $14 an hour — almost two times more than what people are paying at the pump

Texas’ gas prices sit below the national average at $4.29 per gallon.

“The gas prices are really hurting my pocket right now,” Houston driver Dominic Ballair told KHOU 11 News. “I really have to use a credit card to pay for gas.”

America faces its highest inflation rate in 40 years, and the global oil market is in turmoil in the wake of Russia’s February invasion of Ukraine. The U.S. responded by banning all imports of Russian oil in March, further diminishing supply in a sector already producing below capacity due to pandemic-related supply chain and staffing issues.

Gas is not the only essential consumer good that has become more expensive in recent months, leading national consumer confidence to drop to its lowest levels since the end of the Great Recession in 2009, according to Gallup. The study found that 46% of Americans believe the economy is “poor,” and 77% of Americans believe it is “getting worse.”

President Joe Biden recently announced that tackling inflation is his top priority, as consumer prices rose by over 8.3% in the last year, The Associated Press reported.

Oil industry experts believe that the gas prices are not likely to decline significantly soon.

“We could have $6 a gallon gasoline prices before this summer’s over, I’m afraid,” said independent energy analyst David Blackmon,  FOX 4 News in Dallas-Fort Worth reported.

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