Alabamians to See Cuts in Jobless Benefits

Unemployment cuts are scheduled to take effect Sunday and will affect 16,000 people in Alabama.(AP Graphic)

(AP) The long-term unemployed in Alabama will be among the first to feel automatic federal budget cuts scheduled to take effect Friday.

A spokeswoman for the Alabama Department of Labor says federal officials have advised the department to prepare for a cut of nine percent to 10 percent in unemployment benefits for Alabamians who have exhausted their 26 weeks of state unemployment benefits and are now getting the extended 37 weeks of federal benefits.{}{} {}Spokeswoman Tara Hutchinson said the unemployment cuts are supposed to take effect Sunday and will affect 16,000 people. The federal benefits are administered by the state Department of Labor. The average benefit is $202 weekly and the max is $265.{}{} {}The White House estimates Alabama will lose $472,000 for the remainder of the fiscal year.