Feeling The Pinch Of Higher Gas Prices

By: Ann McIntire Email
By: Ann McIntire Email

As the numbers continue to climb, so does buyers' frustrations. "They're too expensive, I work out of Irvington, and it costs me probably $7 or $8 a day just to drive back and forth to work," said Ronald Andersen.

"I think it's ridiculous," said Jeanine Sankey. "I have to drive my car to and from work, because I'm not on a bus line, I have to pay the price."

Andersen put $20 worth of gas into his car, but it only bought him about five gallons of gas. "I feel for the ones that are retired, that's on a fixed income, because you know, it's cut and dry, you know what you can afford and what you can't, a lot of them will have to stay home because of their incomes."

That's where programs like "Meals on Wheels" come in. Between 800 and 900 people depend on the service daily. The Eastern Nebraska Office on Aging says there have been several drivers to pull out from the program, because they can't afford the gas for the deliveries. ENOA says others have filled in to help.

"We have a great group of paid drivers, a great group of volunteers, I think they realize the importance of what they're doing and they're willing to put up with a little bit higher prices," said Jeff Reinhardt, with ENOA.

Another startling statistic affected by gas prices, the highest number of new jobless claims in eight months were filed this week, 474,000 nationwide.

"The higher gasoline prices, the higher fuel prices, the higher food prices, they're really cutting into the growth, and some companies are having difficulties dealing with some of these higher prices," said Dr. Ernie Goss, an economist at Creighton University.

For some companies, the only answer is lay offs. "Just the way things are going, just the price of everything, and everything just keeps going up except for wages," said Andersen.

Goss does say he doesn't expect the April Unemployment numbers in Nebraska, which will be released Friday, to be as high as they may be nationwide. He thinks they will remain level.

Goss also adds he does expect oil prices to fall barring any disruption of services, but if that will lead to lower gas prices, only time will tell.

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