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Manufacturing industries that employ the most women

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Get It Made collected data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to rank the manufacturing industries that employ the most women today.
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Records of American women being a part of the manufacturing workforce have been documented as far back as 1899.

At that time, it was cheaper to pay women to work in factories than men. Women’s presence in the manufacturing workforce surged during World War II, including making weapons and other military equipment. Companies laid off women after the war ended in favor of hiring returning veterans. In the ensuing years, automation use expanded to support manufacturing workers and, in some instances, replace them.

Even today, women remain underrepresented in the manufacturing industry, accounting for around 3 in 10 employees overall and 3 in 10 junior staff. They are rarer at higher levels—2 in 10 mid-level staff, less than 2 in 10 senior-level staff, and 9 in 100 CEOs.

There is a fair amount of variation across sectors, though. Women make up only 17% of those working in primary metals and fabricated metal products but comprise 50% of the workforce for textiles, apparel, and leather manufacturing.

To better understand how women contribute to the manufacturing industry today, Get It Made collected data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics‘ 2021 Current Population Survey to rank the manufacturing industries that employ the most women. Survey respondents were limited to binary gender classifications.

Efforts are underway to diversify the manufacturing workforce. Some manufacturers have formal programs they use to recruit women, and the Manufacturing Institute, a workforce development company, has started the STEP Women’s Initiative to train, study, and publicly recognize the role of women in the manufacturing industry.

Women can fill gaps in the manufacturing industry, which is currently facing a workforce shortage. Beyond that, there is room for them to help expand opportunities, replace an aging workforce, and fill roles in highly skilled and technical positions.

Read on to learn more about women working in different manufacturing industries in the U.S.

Woman wearing protective clothing working at industrial machine.

BigPixel Photo // Shutterstock

#16. Primary metals and fabricated metal products manufacturing

– Total employment: 1,539,000
– Percent women: 17%

Primary metals manufacturers refine metals from other materials to create castings, wires, rods, strips, sheets, and other basic products.

Fabricated metal products manufacturing handles the next step, turning the metal into various parts or end products. The main processes in this industry include machining, forming, bending, stamping, and forging to give shape to individual metal pieces, as well as assembling and welding to join metal pieces together.

In 2021, women metal workers made 93 cents for each dollar that men in the same job earned, despite demonstrating strong skills and holding vital positions.

Female carpenter in workshop.

SeventyFour // Shutterstock

#15. Wood products manufacturing

– Total employment: 427,000
– Percent women: 17%

Wood product manufacturers create prefab wooden buildings, manufactured mobile homes, wood trusses, wood flooring, wood containers, veneers, plywood, lumber, and more. Women woodworkers earn 82 cents on the dollar of their male counterparts.

This subsector’s main production processes include laminating, shaping, planing, and sawing of wood products, as well as smoothing, planing, and assembling them.

The forest products industry is a top 10 manufacturing employer in 45 states, employing almost 950,000 people nationwide. Yet women in 2019 occupied just 16% of top management jobs in the sector.

Three factory engineers discussing work wearing hardhats.

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#14. Petroleum and coal products manufacturing

– Total employment: 198,000
– Percent women: 19%

Petroleum and coal products manufacturing usually involves the process of petroleum refinement, achieved through chemical techniques such as distillation and cracking. The subsector also includes establishments that further process coal and refined materials and manufacture products like petroleum lubricating oils and asphalt coatings.

Men who worked year-round, full-time roles as petroleum engineers made a median salary in 2019 of $138,456 (the most recent data available), while women with the same job made $126,712.

Two female workers in building materials production.

BearFotos // Shutterstock

#13. Nonmetallic mineral products manufacturing

– Total employment: 406,000
– Percent women: 22%

Nonmetallic mineral product manufacturers take clay, stone, gravel, and sand and transform them into finished products like cement, ceramics, and glass. Processes may include honing, shaping, cutting, and grinding. The techniques often involve heat and mixing, like when producing glass.

Of the nearly 9,000 firms in this sector in the U.S. in 2020, two-thirds were majority-owned by men, 12% were majority women-owned, and 16% were owned in equal shares by men and women. The remaining 6% did not report ownership statistics.

Closeup of woman on factory assembly line.

Paolo Bona // Shutterstock

#12. Machinery manufacturing

– Total employment: 1,170,000
– Percent women: 23%

Machinery manufacturers make products such as levers and gears, and other equipment. Some of this industry’s main processes include machining, forming, bending, stamping, and forging to shape metal pieces, while other methods involve assembling and welding to join together various parts.

While these processes are comparable to those used in the fabricated metal products manufacturing subsector, machinery manufacturing focuses on creating different machine parts through various metal-forming operations and more elaborate assembly operations.

There has been a wage disparity between men and women in the machinery manufacturing subsector. In 2019, year-round, full-time employed tool and die makers who were men earned a median of $58,378, while women in the same position earned $47,200. Men mechanical engineers also made more, earning a median of $91,189, while women mechanical engineers earned a median of $90,524.

Women are making strides in leadership in this subsector. In Ohio, French Oil Mill Machinery promoted Tayte French Lutz to vice president of the custom equipment manufacturing company in August 2022.

Two brewers review production equipment.

Pressmaster // Shutterstock

#11. Beverages and tobacco products manufacturing

– Total employment: 324,000
– Percent women: 25%

Beverage manufacturing includes producing alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages and ice. Tobacco manufacturing includes establishments that redry and stem tobacco and those making products such as cigars and cigarettes.

The average beverage manufacturing annual salary for men is $65,317 and $62,999 for women. But in tobacco manufacturing, the average woman’s salary is actually higher, at $85,493, while the average man’s salary is $81,978.

Woman making parts in auto factory.

John Gress Media Inc // Shutterstock

#10. Transportation equipment manufacturing

– Total employment: 2,466,000
– Percent women: 25%

Transportation equipment manufacturers make equipment that moves goods and people. Processes are similar to those used in the machinery manufacturing subsector, from welding and forming to assembling plastic or metal parts into finished components and products. However, the processes used in the transportation equipment manufacturing subsector more commonly end in the manufacturing of finished vehicles and other modes of transport.

Men regularly make more than women for the same roles within this subsector, as is the case throughout manufacturing. In 2019, male aerospace engineers earned a median income of $112,402, more than $10,000 more than their women counterparts. Similar gender wage gaps are evident among machinists. Mechanical engineers have a much smaller gap—less than $1,000.

A woman carpenter choosing wood.

Dusan Petkovic // Shutterstock

#9. Furniture and related product manufacturing

– Total employment: 370,000
– Percent women: 26%

Making furniture and related products—from fixtures and cabinets to window blinds and mattresses—also requires the incorporation of fashion and design trends. Manufacturers may incorporate their own design services or buy them from industrial designers.

In the furniture and related product manufacturing subsector, the average annual salary for a man is $47,798, while for a woman, it’s $45,935. Three furniture manufacturers—Ikea, Steelcase, and Williams-Sonoma—made Forbes Magazine’s list of 2022’s Best Employers for Women.

Woman working in printing factory.

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#8. Paper manufacturing and printing

– Total employment: 775,000
– Percent women: 26%

Paper manufacturing subsector industries involve at least one of three related product types: pulp, paper, and converted paper products. They print products like business forms, stationery, business cards, labels, books, newspapers, and other materials. That subsector includes tasks like bookbinding, platemaking services, and data imaging.

Overall, paper manufacturing has a significant wage gap, with year-round, full-time male paper goods machine setters, operators, and tenders in 2019 earning a mean of $51,357 versus $32,943 for their female counterparts. But wages are virtually matched between men and women in the printing and related support activities subsector: $55,808 and $55,026 a year, respectively.

Engineer planning project with machinery in background.

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#7. Electrical equipment and appliances manufacturing

– Total employment: 432,000
– Percent women: 28%

Establishments in the electrical equipment, appliance, and component manufacturing subsector make products that produce electrical power, as well as distribute and use it. These products include lighting fixtures, electric lamp bulbs, and household appliances ranging from coffee grinders and blenders to refrigerators and deep freezers. They also include electrical equipment such as transformers, generators, and electric motors, as well as other electrical components and equipment such as batteries, insulated wire, and fuse boxes.

Women entered the electrical manufacturing workforce in the early 1900s, mostly making electric motors and lightbulbs. With mechanization across manufacturing mainly driven by demand during World War I, employers sought lower-wage workers. That often meant recruiting women and minorities. The factory jobs generally reserved for white men opened up during the two world wars, with many roles returned to veterans following the wars.

Women assembling circuit boards for smartphones.

Gorodenkoff // Shutterstock

#6. Computers and electronic products manufacturing

– Total employment: 1,017,000
– Percent women: 29%

Computer and electronic product manufacturing subsector industries include communications equipment makers, computer peripherals, computers, and comparable electrical products and components.

Men dominate the electronics manufacturing industry, but women in the industry have carved out places for themselves. In the past, when technology jobs did not pay as much as today and were considered menial, women held those jobs—only to be overshadowed by men when they became profitable.

Worker with tablet at polymer manufacturing factory.

Sata Production // Shutterstock

#5. Plastics and rubber products manufacturing

– Total employment: 525,000
– Percent women: 32%

Businesses in the plastics and rubber products manufacturing subsector process raw rubber and plastics materials to produce goods.

In the plastics manufacturing industry in 2021, women represented a more significant share of workers than they had 10 years earlier, with 3 in 10 workers being women. But even then, according to Robin Graves—an executive search firm senior account manager at Midland Consultants who has over two decades of experience in recruitment in the rubber industry—there were “quite a few women” in the industry in 2012. She reported they held various positions, including those of chemists and presidents and those in sales and marketing.

People gathered around 3D printer watching model production.

Frame Stock Footage // Shutterstock

#4. Miscellaneous manufacturing

– Total employment: 1,521,000
– Percent women: 35%

Miscellaneous manufacturing industries produce products that are not classifiable in other Bureau of Labor Statistics categories. Examples of industries in this group include those that manufacture musical instruments, artists’ materials, dolls, caskets, silverware, and jewelry.

In 2021, 34.7% of the people employed in this industry were women.

Woman wearing protective clothing operating equipment at chemical plant.

SeventyFour // Shutterstock

#3. Chemicals manufacturing

– Total employment: 1,425,000
– Percent women: 38%

Chemical manufacturers create products from inorganic or organic raw materials. Some examples of industry groups include manufacturers of paints, soaps, medicines, pesticides, resins, and other products.

More women in the chemical manufacturing industry are entering the workforce and taking leadership positions. Additionally, support organizations exist expressly to bolster women in the industry, including the Women in Specialties group of the Society of Chemical Manufacturers and Affiliates and Women in Chemicals.

Workers on assembly line at cookie factory.

Dusan Petkovic // Shutterstock

#2. Food manufacturing

– Total employment: 1,682,000
– Percent women: 41%

Food manufacturing companies turn crops and livestock into products ready for food supply chains or consumer consumption. Some examples include tortilla manufacturers, bakeries, dairy product manufacturers, slaughterhouses, animal food manufacturers, and others.

Women hold fewer than 2 in 10 senior leadership positions in the food and beverage industry, according to Females in Food—even though 8 in 10 women worldwide make food-buying decisions.

Woman sewing in clothing factory.

Drazen Zigic // Shutterstock

#1. Textiles, apparel, and leather manufacturing

– Total employment: 440,000
– Percent women: 51%

Textile mills turn basic fibers into a product like fabric or yarn. Textile or apparel companies will then use that fabric or yarn to produce consumer items like textile bags, towels, sheets, and clothes—and, sometimes, companies might also use materials from various industries.

Textile product mills manufacture textile products that are not apparel, such as towels and sheets.

Apparel manufacturing industries are involved in two manufacturing processes: making the fabric itself and then cutting and sewing it to create a garment. Leather and allied product manufacturing include making leather out of hides and using that leather to create final products, as well as creating leather substitute products out of textiles, plastics, or rubber.

In the leather tanning and finishing and other allied products manufacturing industry, men make slightly more than women, on average—with the average man’s salary being $46,088 and the average woman’s salary being $45,281. Globally, the textiles, clothing, leather, and footwear sector provides many employment opportunities, especially, and increasingly, for young women.

This story originally appeared on Get It Made and was produced and
distributed in partnership with Stacker Studio.

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These 5 charts show the ups and downs of the US stock market over 10 years

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Olive Invest examined historical equities data from S&P Dow Jones, NASDAQ, and others to demonstrate the state of the stock market over the last decade.
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The U.S. stock market is a complicated beast, and with recent events like the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve seen some volatility in the last few years. Stocks dipped quite a bit during the pandemic but have recovered since.

To get an idea of how the stock market has fared in the last 10 years, watch trends of major market indices—or certain groups of companies’ stocks that give a sample of how the entire market is performing. Perhaps the most well-known market index is the S&P 500, a group of the 500 largest companies on the U.S. stock market.

While the S&P 500 is widely regarded as the best indicator of how the stock market is faring, other market indices can give you a different view based on the type of companies they track. Dow Jones, for instance, follows 30 of the largest companies in the country from various industries. The NASDAQ includes all stocks on the NASDAQ market, largely comprised of tech companies.

By watching the performance of these and other market indices, investors can get a good idea of how the U.S. stock market as a whole has performed over time. Olive Invest examined historical equities data from S&P Dow Jones, NASDAQ, and other data sources to see how the stock market has fared over the last decade.

Chart showing that stock values more than doubled since 2012.

Olive Invest

How stocks have performed over the last decade

This chart shows a significant increase in stock index values from the last decade, despite a brief drop in 2020 during the pandemic. At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a steep drop-off in index values. However, they bounced back by the end of 2020 into 2021.

Index values have held relatively steady growth across the last 10 years. The NASDAQ, S&P 500, and Dow Jones Industrial Average have all doubled in value since 2012.

A chart showing the Chicago Board Options Exchange volatility index since 2012.

Olive Invest

Tracking volatility

This chart measures the Chicago Board Options Exchange volatility index (VIX index), designed to show how current events and uncertainty affect stock prices. Essentially, the more fluctuation you see here, the more uncertainty investors and the public have about the future, which can significantly impact the market and even help project market crises.

Unsurprisingly, the most significant spike in volatility from the last decade was in March 2020, at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. The last two years have shown a reduction in volatility since this spike, but in general, there is more uncertainty than 10 years prior.

A chart showing the S&P 500 annual return on investment since 2000.

Olive Invest

Rates of return since 2000

The S&P 500’s annual return on investment is a critical indicator of the stock market’s performance. The average return since the S&P 500’s establishment is 11%.

There are a few notable data points here—perhaps the most prominent of which is the Great Recession in 2008. That financial crisis resulted in the most significant drop in the S&P 500 return of the last 20 years. Since the recession, however, the rate of return has been above average almost every year.

Bar chart showing S&P 500 weighting by sector for 2022.

Olive Invest

S&P stocks by sector

The S&P 500 tracks the top 500 U.S. companies on the stock market. Knowing what types of businesses make up the majority of the index is essential to understanding which sectors have the most success.

In 2022, Information Technology made up 26.4% of the S&P 500—an industry high in the last 20 years. Similarly, health care is gaining ground in the previous few years, though it is still short of its historical high.

The financial sector has seen a downturn in the last decade—though this may change with the reclassification of major shares next year.

Chart showing a significant drop in how many publicly traded domestic companies are on the U.S. stock market since 2000.

Olive Invest

Number of publicly traded companies declines

In the last 20 years, there has been a significant drop in how many publicly traded domestic companies are on the U.S. stock market as more companies exit the market and there are fewer IPOs.

The last decade, however, has been far more stable. Experts suggest the change is connected to natural fluctuations and changing dynamics in the market’s major industries. McKinsey attributes a significant portion of the drop-off to acquisitions.

Still, there have been fewer IPOs in the last several years, which can be a disappointment for new investors trying to get in on the ground floor.

This story originally appeared on Olive Invest and was produced and
distributed in partnership with Stacker Studio.

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2023 brings more demand for cloud, web dev, and IT skills for a slew of lucrative tech jobs

Recruitment company Randstad published 2023 lists for Canada’s most in-demand tech jobs and skills.

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Today’s businesses continue embracing digital transformation through automation, cloud systems, and remote work arrangements into 2023. 

Still, skill shortages and employee attrition plague the Canadian workforce. One constant that remains is the demand for highly skilled IT and tech professionals — which just increased by 25% in 2022. 

Recruitment company Randstad recently released roundups of Canada’s most in-demand tech skills and IT and tech jobs for 2023. The good news is prospective workers have ample fields, industries, and salary ranges to consider as they peruse the job market. 

And we’re not just talking about the IT industry. Randstad reminds us that tech professionals are sought after in pretty much every industry, especially banking, administration consulting, employment agencies, and software publishers.

Randstad cites data, security, business system, and quality assurance analysts in their list. These roles require not only technical skills like Microsoft Azure and experience with cloud technology, but also project management skills earned through previous tenures or certifications like the project management professional (PMP) or certified scrummaster (CSM). 

Other in-demand jobs listed include cloud architect and network engineer, positions calling for significant expertise in Java, Python, and cloud technology, on top of other technical and soft skills. 

We also see an increase in average salaries for 2023, jumping from $51,900 to $154,300 in 2022 to $74,000 to $130,600 in 2023. But tech professionals seeking the highest salaries should gravitate toward developer/programmer roles, a position that also made Randstad’s more general best jobs in 2023 list. Notably, the full-stack developer role topped Randstad’s highest-paid jobs list, fetching as high as $130,000.

Randstad also shares a long list of highly sought-after technical skills, from C# and Java to Linux and API. 

While years of professional experience would certainly help today’s prospective candidate, it’s not always a deal breaker. McKinsey reminds us of a curious phenomenon in the tech industry — 44% of tech professionals transitioned from a non-IT role. That’s because companies indeed want qualified candidates with skills, but also seek enthusiastic, hardworking professionals interested in learning and growing with the field’s constant innovations.

Another notable finding was Ranstad’s certification recommendations. These aren’t suitable for beginner tech professionals; rather, they’re a way for an entry-level, associate, or executive professional to easily highlight their prowess on their resumes, like the certified information security manager (CISM) certification. 

Peter Bendor-Samuel, CEO of research firm Everest Group, described the tech demand to Forbes as a result of consistent investment in software-driven operating platforms despite reduced discretionary spending. 

Meaning? 

Companies are cutting out the fluff —  but people who can create and improve technology, security, and cloud computing solutions and systems are certainly not fluff. 

Learn more about Randstad’s 2023 best IT and tech jobs and top skills wanted

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Americans spend $179 on fuel each month—here’s how to spend less

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CoPilot looked into the Consumer Expenditure Surveys to see how much Americans spend on vehicle fuel and suggested ways to lower that expenditure.
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Owning a vehicle comes with a whole host of costs—from insurance and maintenance to parking and tolls. And if the past year has proven anything, it’s that another cost associated with vehicle use—namely fuel—can fluctuate wildly, putting further strain on your bank account for an already costly necessity.

CoPilot looked into the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Expenditure Surveys to see how much Americans spend on fuel for their vehicles and used sources from insurance companies, transportation fleet managers, and government agencies to determine some ways to lower that expenditure.

On average, Americans spent $179 per month (or $2,148 annually) on gasoline, other fuels, and motor oils in 2021, accounting for around 3% of overall annual expenses. In terms of finding decisive ways to cut that cost, one front-of-mind idea might be to consider an electric vehicle. EVs are gaining in popularity, the major automakers are investing heavily in an electric future, and the government incentivizes most EV buyers.

While switching to a car with better fuel economy, such as a hybrid or fully electric vehicle, can lead to big reductions in monthly fuel expenses, hybrids and EVs often cost more than their gasoline-only counterparts, and the fuel savings may not offset that difference for a number of years. What’s more, the infrastructure EVs depend on for charging remains in something of a developmental stage, making them a limited alternative to gas-powered vehicles—at least for now.

There are approximately 250 million cars and trucks on U.S. roadways; less than 1% are electric. So for those either not in the market for a new vehicle or simply content to stick with the reliability of gasoline-powered travel, the following list offers a wide range of suggestions, best practices, and easy lifestyle adjustments that can reduce the monthly costs associated with fueling a personal vehicle.

Line chart showing the average monthly spend on gasoline from 2011 to 2021 by income quintile. The higher the income, the higher the average spend.

CoPilot

Wealthy households spend more than twice as much on gasoline

Even as gas prices were at their highest since 2014 (adjusted for inflation), spending on fuel in 2021 increased from 2019 levels by only $54 per year on average. And while the drastic reduction in driving brought on during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 had a great impact on fuel spending that year, it does not seem to have extended to significantly changed habits in the following year—driving in 2021 dropped by only 1% when compared with 2019 levels.

Though average spending on fuel in 2021 was high, the lack of an even more dramatic increase due to high gas prices can be attributed mainly to the steady rise in the fuel efficiency of vehicles over the past decade.

Another important consideration raised by this is whether or not the burden of those fuel expenses is felt equally across income levels. Bureau of Labor Statistics data suggests it does not. For those in the lowest income quintile, spending on fuel represented 3.6% of total expenses. The burden decreased for each subsequent income bracket; in the highest quintile, it represented just 2.4% of total costs.

While this disparity might seem minimal when considering the upper limit of the lower quintile’s household earnings is just over $27,000, and the lower limit (or floor) of the highest quintile is $141,000, that 1.2% difference comes starkly into focus.

So while the increase in the fuel economy of newer cars seems to have a relative equalizing force on fuel expenses when taken on average, income disparity implies that those in lower income quintiles do not reap the benefits of those improvements in automotive engineering.

A street car, or a bus-like vehicle for public transit, in downtown Toronto.

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Consider alternative forms of transportation

From their walkability to the accessibility and affordability of public transit, urban areas such as cities offer residents, especially those living in city centers, alternatives to using personal vehicles to get around. This isn’t just beneficial to their health and that of the environment; it also helps people reduce fuel costs.

Overall, those who live in urban areas spent $3,303 less on transportation than those in rural areas in 2021. Fuel expenses accounted for roughly 13% of transportation costs, meaning even those who owned cars in urban areas spent on average $39 less per month on fuel than those in rural settings.

This is not to say, however, that rural or micropolitan areas cannot take advantage of alternative forms of transportation. Small towns across the U.S. have begun to see the value in investing in bike-share programs, using its infrastructure funding to add bike-protected lanes on their streets. This is especially true in smaller college towns, where foot and bike traffic tends to be high.

So whether it’s via bike, scooter, or sneakers, tackling short-distance trips by means other than your vehicle can translate to more cash in your pocket.

A person with their hands on the wheel of a car.

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Keep a close eye on how you’re using your vehicle’s features

The data is clear: Sensible driving makes a meaningful impact on the efficiency of your car.

Frequent braking and acceleration, fast driving, and A/C overuse are a few habits that can increase the overall cost of travel in your vehicle. Using A/C during hot weather can reduce fuel economy by more than 25%, according to the Department of Energy. Parking your car in shade, rolling down your windows at low speeds, and preemptively letting hot air out of the cabin as you begin your journey are a few ways to decrease the impact of heat and make your car more comfortable A/C-free.

The power of a car’s acceleration is something many, if not most, drivers love, and many car buyers put a particular value on speed capability when making their decision. For most vehicles, however, speeding also comes at a cost. For every 5 mph above 50, the cost per gallon of gas increases, depending on your vehicle’s make, model, and year.

Suppose you are driving a 2020 Ford F-150 4WD (incidentally, the bestselling truck in the U.S. since the late 1970s); the difference between going 65 mph and 80 mph is approximately $1 per gallon of gas—meaning what it costs you per 100 miles to hit the highway at 80 is equivalent to the price of an additional gallon of gas or more. Considering the average person drives 13,476 miles per year, keeping to the lower speed (on average) translates into more than $440 in fuel savings.

Coupled with the 15%-30% decrease in fuel economy brought on by frequent braking and acceleration, maintaining steady speeds, accelerating and braking gently, using cruise control, and leaving ample space between your car and the one in front of you can cut your fuel costs while also keeping you safer on the road.

A car's motor receiving an oil change.

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Properly maintain your vehicle

In addition to benefiting its life span, properly maintaining and organizing your vehicle can lead to a small but mighty decrease in monthly fuel expenses.

Keeping your tires inflated to recommended levels, reducing excess weight, and using the recommended grade of motor oil all benefit fuel economy, according to the DOE.

Moreover, and as per basic physics, your car’s fuel use is greatly impacted by aerodynamics; so, while it might seem handy to keep that cargo pod on your roof, or that bicycle rack on your bumper, it can decrease your car’s efficiency by as much as 8% when you’re just tooling around town and as much as 25% on the interstate.

A mobile phone preparing to download the app GasBuddy.

T. Schneider // Shutterstock

Purchase fuel with purpose

An ongoing myth is that premium fuels will make your car more efficient. While they won’t hurt your vehicle’s performance, premium fuel makes no difference for most cars.

There are ways to get more out of your gas purchases through grocery store, gas station, and credit card reward and money-back programs. If you know your habits well enough, you’ll be able to make such programs worthwhile. As per capita gas consumption has hovered in the 350-450 gallon range over the past 20 years, using such programs can translate to big savings.

One of the more effective ways to minimize the price of gas is by using apps and services that, when combined with a little forward planning, allow you to chart out your gas refuels at stations you know will have favorable prices.

Gas prices can fluctuate wildly within a relatively small area. Apps like GasBuddy are built specifically to help you plan around gas price variance and minimize its impact on long trips or high monthly usage. Most navigation tools like Waze or Google Maps also come with built-in gas price features as well.

Bikes available for transportation in a major city.

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Avoid driving altogether

This might seem a rather extreme recommendation, but even if you don’t live near public transit, there are still ways you can reduce the time you spend driving and, therefore, the amount you spend on driving.

Carpooling even a few times a week can lead to many positives, including a decreased carbon footprint and lower fuel expenses. Moreover, carpooling is often supported by corporate incentive programs, so it’s worth looking into at your place of work.

Other options to reduce your reliance on a personal vehicle include riding a bike or e-bike, walking when possible, reducing the number of cars in your household, and coordinating your errands to minimize individual car usage. These alternatives can make a substantive difference not only for your budget but for your health and well-being as well.

Finally, the easiest way to lower your spending on fuel is to spend no money on fuel whatsoever. If you’re able to consider ditching your car entirely, the widespread availability of ride-share and taxi services and car rental agencies can help fill your personal transportation needs when and if they arise.

This story originally appeared on CoPilot and was produced and
distributed in partnership with Stacker Studio.

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