Business news briefs

This is an archived article that was published on in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Tax official

to retire

Utah State Tax Commissioner Marc B. Johnson will retire at the end of the year after 12 years of service. Johnson, who completed three terms on the four-member commission, is a recognized authority in the valuation of centrally assessed and large commercial properties.

Orem company to

donate 10K meals

Food for Health International plans to donate 10,000 meals next week to a local food bank during ceremonies to mark the opening of its new headquarters at 800 N. 800 East in Orem. The donation is tied to a company pledge to donate food for every mile walked by its employees. An open house is set from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday

Verizon donates

to YWCA in SLC

Verizon Wireless donated $12,000 to the YWCA Salt Lake City. The donation was made through Verizon's "HopeLine" program, which supports domestic violence prevention and awareness programs. The program collects no-longer-used wireless phones, batteries and accessories, and refurbishes them to raise money.

Applications for

jobless aid rise

The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits rose to a seasonally adjusted 367,000 last week, a level consistent with only modest hiring but lower than analysts expected. The Labor Department said the four-week average, a less volatile measure, was unchanged last week at 375,000. When benefit applications fall below 375,000, it is a sign hiring is strong enough to lower the unemployment rate.

Retailers see

slower sales

Americans slowed their spending last month after splurging during the back-to-school shopping season in August. But most importantly, they were still spending. September sales rose 3.9 percent, down from the 6 percent rise in August, the International Council of Shopping Centers said. Still, given the economic uncertainty, analysts said the results were encouraging.

Facebook tops

1 billion users

Facebook said it now has 1 billion active users, which it defined as users who visited the site within the month. Although a few companies can claim to have had more than a billion customers, Facebook is the first social network to hit that number. Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's CEO and founder, made the announcement in a blog post on the company's website.

Sprint weighs

T-Mobile offer

Sprint Nextel Corp., the third-largest U.S. mobile-phone carrier, is in the early stages of evaluating a counteroffer for MetroPCS Communications Inc. to top Deutsche Telekom AG's bid to combine it with T-Mobile USA, according to Bloomberg News. It said Sprint is crunching the numbers and conducting talks with its advisers to weigh the feasibility of an offer.