Another summer is gone. How much gasoline was used vs. the same months in prior years? These charts from Tim Wallace have the answer.
Total Petroleum Usage
Over the past several years people have dropped out of the labour force at an astounding, almost unbelievable rate, holding the unemployment rate artificially low. Some of this was due to major revisions last month on account of the 2010 census finally factored in. However, most of it is simply economic weakness.
This recovery is far weaker than the decline in unemployment suggests. Gasoline usage is consistent with that thesis.