published Friday, October 4th, 2013

Business Briefs: Tennessee cuts jobless benefits

Tennessee cuts jobless benefits

The budget sequestration adopted two years ago by Congress will force Tennessee to cut the jobless benefits paid to those unemployed more than six months by 5.5 percent, starting Saturday.

Jeff Hentschell, communications manager for the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development, said about 20,000 Tennessee claimants currently receiving emergency unemployment compensation will be affected by the cuts and others will see the benefit reductions after their 26 weeks of state jobless benefits are exhausted, if they can't find a job.

Tennessee pays a maximum weekly benefit of $275 and an average payment of about $240 for those covered by the state's Unemployment Insurance program.

Mortgage rates fall to 2-month low

Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages fell for the third straight week to their lowest point in three months, as a decline in consumer confidence and the onset of the government shutdown forced rates down.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the average rate on the 30-year loan dropped to 4.22 percent from 4.32 percent last week. The average on the 15-year fixed loan declined to 3.29 percent from 3.37 percent. Both are the lowest averages since early July.

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