If it seems like traffic is worse than it was during the recession, it’s not your imagination. Job growth in the U.S. has averaged an additional 180,000 a month in 2019, according to the Bureau of Labor statistics, and in 2018 the average was 223,000 new jobs a month. That’s a lot of people trying to get to work.

A study by Texas A&M Transportation Institute links a strong economy to more traffic jams. Commuters today spend about 54 hours a year in traffic, wasting more than 3.3 billion gallons of gas and costing the nation $179 billion annually.

The average freeway traveler has to allow almost twice the expected trip duration to arrive on time, according to the report.

How much time and money do you waste sitting in traffic? Based on the Texas A&M Urban Mobility Report, these are the U.S. metropolitan areas where the traffic is the worst, and how much it costs us.

Cities Where Drivers Waste the Most Time and Money in Traffic 

Los Angeles

Los Angeles

1. Los Angeles

  • Yearly delay per commuter: 119 hours
  • Extra fuel needed: 35 gallons
  • Cost per commuter: $2,440

It may come as no surprise that Los Angeles tops the list, where commuters spend 119 hours of extra travel time during the year. 

San Francisco

San Francisco

2. San Francisco

  • Yearly delay per commuter: 103 hours
  • Extra fuel needed: 45 gallons
  • Cost per commuter: $2,390
Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C.

3. Washington, D.C.

  • Yearly delay per commuter: 102 hours
  • Extra fuel needed: 38 gallons
  • Cost per commuter: $1,840
New York

New York

4. New York

  • Yearly delay per commuter: 92 hours
  • Extra fuel needed: 38 gallons
  • Cost per commuter: $1,780
San Jose, Calif.

San Jose, Calif.

5. San Jose, Calif.

  • Yearly delay per commuter: 81 hours
  • Extra fuel needed: 32 gallons
  • Cost per commuter: $1,500

San Jose is a smaller metro area than the four cities listed above, which are all more than 3 million people, while San Jose’s metro area has about 2 million people. Above, a vehicle from Apple's fleet testing self-driving cars is seen in Silicon Valley.

Boston

Boston

6. Boston

  • Yearly delay per commuter: 80 hours
  • Extra fuel needed: 31 gallons
  • Cost per commuter: $1,440
Seattle

Seattle

7. Seattle

  • Yearly delay per commuter: 78 hours
  • Extra fuel needed: 31 gallons
  • Cost per commuter: $1,410
Atlanta

Atlanta

8. Atlanta

  • Yearly delay per commuter: 77 hours
  • Extra fuel needed: 31 gallons
  • Cost per commuter: $1,510
Houston

Houston

9. Houston

  • Yearly delay per commuter: 75 hours
  • Extra fuel needed: 31 gallons
  • Cost per commuter: $1,380
Chicago

Chicago

10. Chicago

  • Yearly delay per commuter: 73 hours
  • Extra fuel needed: 30 gallons
  • Cost per commuter: $1,310
Riverside-San Bernardino, Calif.

Riverside-San Bernardino, Calif.

11. Riverside-San Bernardino, Calif.

  • Yearly delay per commuter: 70 hours
  • Extra fuel needed: 20 gallons
  • Cost per commuter: $1,180
Miami

Miami

12. Miami

  • Yearly delay per commuter: 69 hours
  • Extra fuel needed: 34 gallons
  • Cost per commuter: $1,289
Dallas

Dallas

13. Dallas

  • Yearly delay per commuter: 67 hours
  • Extra fuel needed: 25 gallons
  • Cost per commuter: $1,160
Austin, Texas

Austin, Texas

14. Austin, Texas

  • Yearly delay per commuter: 66 hours
  • Extra fuel needed: 25 gallons
  • Cost per commuter: $1,270
Portland, Ore.

Portland, Ore.

15. Portland, Ore.

  • Yearly delay per commuter: 66 hours
  • Extra fuel needed: 31 gallons
  • Cost per commuter: $1,190
Honolulu

Honolulu

16. Honolulu

  • Yearly delay per commuter: 64 hours
  • Extra fuel needed: 29 gallons
  • Cost per commuter: $1,260
San Diego

San Diego

17. San Diego

  • Yearly delay per commuter: 16 hours
  • Extra fuel needed: 24 gallons
  • Cost per commuter: $1,440
Philadelphia

Philadelphia

18. Philadelphia

  • Yearly delay per commuter: 62 hours
  • Extra fuel needed: 26 gallons
  • Cost per commuter: $1,100
Phoenix

Phoenix

19. Phoenix

  • Yearly delay per commuter: 62 hours
  • Extra fuel needed: 26 gallons
  • Cost per commuter: $990
Denver

Denver

20. Denver

  • Yearly delay per commuter: 61 hours
  • Extra fuel needed: 25 gallons
  • Cost per commuter: $1,060
Detroit

Detroit

21. Detroit

  • Yearly delay per commuter: 61 hours
  • Extra fuel needed: 25 gallons
  • Cost per commuter: $1,030
Sacramento, Calif.

Sacramento, Calif.

22. Sacramento, Calif.

  • Yearly delay per commuter: 59 hours
  • Extra fuel needed: 24 gallons
  • Cost per commuter: $1,020
Baltimore

Baltimore

  • 23. Baltimore
  • Yearly delay per commuter: 59 hours
  • Extra fuel needed: 22 gallons
  • Cost per commuter: $960
Nashville

Nashville

24. Nashville

  • Yearly delay per commuter: 58 hours
  • Extra fuel needed: 26 gallons
  • Cost per commuter: $1,110
New Orleans

New Orleans

25. New Orleans

  • Yearly delay per commuter: 58 hours
  • Extra fuel needed: 26 gallons
  • Cost per commuter: $1,100
Baton Rouge, La.

Baton Rouge, La.

26. Baton Rouge, La.

  • Yearly delay per commuter: 58 hours
  • Extra fuel needed: 25 gallons
  • Cost per commuter: $1,010
Charlotte, N.C.

Charlotte, N.C.

27. Charlotte, N.C.

  • Yearly delay per commuter: 57 hours
  • Extra fuel needed: 22 gallons
  • Cost per commuter: $1,160
Orlando

Orlando

28. Orlando

  • Yearly delay per commuter: 57 hours
  • Extra fuel needed: 22 gallons
  • Cost per commuter: $1,010
Stamford, Conn.

Stamford, Conn.

29. Bridgeport-Stamford, Conn.-N.Y.

  • Yearly delay per commuter: 57 hours
  • Extra fuel needed: 22 gallons
  • Cost per commuter: $910
Minneapolis

Minneapolis

30. Minneapolis

  • Yearly delay per commuter: 56 hours
  • Extra fuel needed: 18 gallons
  • Cost per commuter: $890

For dozens of ways to address freeway congestion, see the Texas A&M Transportation Institute's interactive on How to Fix Congestion.