U.S. Gas prices have hit a four-month high with 32 straight days of increases at the pump bringing misery to spring breakers and job hunters.

The Automobile Association of America said Monday that the national average for a gallon of regular is $3.73 and is 43 cents more than a month ago. Prices top $4 per gallon in California and Hawaii.

Another factor in the price rise is a Hess refinery in New Jersey that supplies 7.5 percent of the Northeast’s gas closing. Also, midwinter maintenance has led some refineries to go offline temporarily and demand for gas is up, fueled in part by the return of more people working.

The price hikes come at a bad time, however, for Americans who are still out of work or facing smaller paychecks because of higher payroll taxes.

The average price in our area is $3.94 per gallon for regular unleaded.

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