Business briefs: Immigrants fuel increase in startup creation, Kauffman study shows

Immigrants fuel rise

in startups

Latinos and immigrants fueled an uptick in new business creation nationally, reversing a four-year downward cycle, according to the 2015 Kauffman Index: Startup Activity released on Thursday.

The entrepreneurial activity increase in the index -- which reversed the downward trend since 2010 -- was the largest year-over-year increase in two decades, according to the research. Yet the rebound remains well below historical trends, Kauffman researchers said. In the 2015 index, 310 out of 100,000 adults, or 0.31 percent, started new businesses each month, on average. In the 2014 index, the average was 0.28 percent of the adult population.

Google unveils Android's new technological tricks

SAN FRANCISCO -- Google's next version of its Android operating system will boast new ways to fetch information, pay merchants and protect privacy on mobile devices as the Internet company duels with Apple in the quest to make their technology indispensable.

The upgrade will give Android's personal assistant, Google Now, expanded powers of intuition that may be greeted as a great convenience to some and a tad too creepy for others.

FCC head unveils proposal to narrow 'digital divide'

NEW YORK -- The head of the Federal Communications Commission is proposing that the government agency expand a phone subsidy program for the poor to include Internet access.

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has emphasized that Internet access is a critical component of modern life, key education, communication and finding a keeping a job.

With the net-neutrality rules released earlier this year, the agency redefined broadband as a public utility, like the telephone, giving it stricter oversight on how online content gets to consumers. That triggered lawsuits from Internet service providers.

JPMorgan to lay off 5,000 employees across firm

NEW YORK -- JPMorgan Chase & Co. will cut about 5,000 jobs over the next year, as the bank closes branches and slims down its operations, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday, citing anonymous sources.

The job cuts will come from across the New York-based bank, but particularly from the consumer bank.

Average rate on 30-year mortgage up to 3.87%

WASHINGTON -- Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates rose this week to their highest level so far this year as new data showed strength in the housing market.

Mortgage giant Freddie Mac said Thursday the average rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage increased to 3.87 percent from 3.84 percent a week earlier. The rate on 15-year fixed-rate mortgages advanced to 3.11 percent from 3.05 percent.

-- Herald wire reports