In recent weeks, the price of a barrel of oil has stayed at about $100 a barrel, and gasoline prices have been edging closer to $4 a gallon. The costs are apparently due to events half a world away, in the Middle East. Even though plenty of oil is around, there is fear of further disruptions, and consumers, business people, and politicians have all been making adjustments. Here are eight ways that higher energy prices are starting to affect America.
Manufacturing jobs are growing slowly because laborers don't have the skills that factories need.
With the housing market and auto sales showing some signs of life, pundits predict a better economy for 2012. But the ripple from a European downturn could erode the economic pace in the US.