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Economic Recovery Bad News for Commuters

More jobs, longer commutes – bigger losses.

by on Jan.24, 2011

How much time do you waste in traffic every day?

Sure, your spouse may have lost their job in the economic downturn.  The good news is that you’ve likely been spending less time in traffic, suggests a report from the Texas Transportation Institute at Texas A&M University.

Researchers have found that the amount of time motorists wasted in traffic tie-ups dipped by more than 10% from 2007 to the depths of the recession, a year later.  But while figures for 2010 have yet to be calculated, it looks like American commuters are already starting to experience longer driving times as the economy recovers.

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And that will translate into more money being wasted on fuel, especially as gasoline prices continue to rise.

In 2007, before the wholesale collapse of the economy, Americans wasted 5.2 billion hours in traffic, according to the Transportation Institute, which based its study on data gathered in 439 U,S, urban areas.  In 2008, as Wall Stress melted down and unemployment soared in virtually every sector, the highways grew notably less crowded, the number of hours lost to traffic dropping to 4.6 million.