Gas Prices Not Affecting Commuting Habits
Although record-high gas prices are forcing Americans to re-evaluate their spending habits, most still drive to and from work, according to a new survey commissioned by The Workforce Institute at Kronos Incorporated.
Among the 1,100 workers polled by the Chelmsford, Mass.-based workforce management firm, 77 percent said they are still driving to work daily. Only seven percent said they take public transportation, while four percent said they have arranged carpools to save money. Nearly 70 percent claimed that the price of gas has not affected their commuting habits.
Most respondents, however, have begun monitoring their overall spending. Nearly a third had postponed a vacation because of the uncertain economy, and 57 percent said they are going out to eat less; nearly 60 percent are driving less.
Most also weren't satisfied with their employers' efforts to offset the jump in gas prices. Four out of five said that they hadn't received any additional benefits thus far. Those who had received help from employers listed telecommuting, subsidized public transportation, compressed work schedules and company-organized carpools.
Jared Bernstein, board member of The Workforce Institute, said in a statement that between food and gas price hikes, flat paychecks, and the mortgage crisis, family budgets are stretched thin.
"Of course, businesses are stressed too, and many can't afford to compensate their workers for the higher prices they face. Thus, workplace policies that facilitate less driving make a lot of sense right now," he said.