Highways this Labor Day will be their most jammed in six years, according to AAA predictions. The motor club estimates 34.7 million Americans will travel at least 50 miles from home during Labor Day holiday weekend. That's the highest since a recessionary decline began in 2008 and 1.3 percent more than in 2013. Historically, when Labor Day begins in August, Americans tend to travel more. But pocketbook issues are also making the open road more affordable. Early August gas prices are their lowest since 2010, with the national average at $3.44, 10 cents below Labor Day last year. And overall, consumers are loosening their grip on their pennies. "This year, Americans are more optimistic about their financial situation," said AAA Chief Operating Officer Marshall L. Doney. "Consumer spending continues to outpace disposable income, indicating that Americans are comfortable using their credit cards to take one last summer vacation this year."
- Ben Popken
Scott Olson / Getty Images
Traffic jams up on the Kennedy Expressway leaving the city on May 23, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois.
First published August 21 2014, 7:09 AM