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Business Briefs: Jobless tax falls for 2012; workers comp tax remains flat

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Businesses will pay 13 percent less in unemployment taxes in 2012 and will see rates for workers compensation remain flat, state officials said Thursday. Gov. Chris Gregoire said a tax reform bill approved earlier this year will mean the unemployment tax rate will drop by 13 percent next year and that 88 percent of businesses will pay less than they do now. Businesses should save about $207 million, the governor said. Workers compensation taxes were estimated to rise this year, but will remain flat thanks to improving claim trends and the tax reform bill, Gregoire said. While the rates remain flat, businesses could see their bills go up or down depending on their claim history.
EU says it's ended Airbus subsidies
The European Union said Thursday it has complied with a World Trade Organization ruling that called for an end to unfair government aid to aircraft maker Airbus. U.S. trade officials and rival the Boeing Co. responded that they would study closely the EU's submission to ensure all illegal subsidies had been removed. "We have presented a comprehensive package of actions that achieves full compliance with the WTO recommendations and rulings in the Airbus case," said John Clancy, a spokesman for the EU's trade office.
Profits, sales rise for Everett retailer
Everett action sports retailer Zumiez Inc. reported a 14.8 percent increase in third quarter profits Thursday, saying it also saw a rise in same store stores. The company earned $14 million, or 45 cents a diluted share, on income of $12.3 million, or 40 cents a share. Sales of stores open at least a year increased 6 percent. That compares to a 14 percent increase a year ago. The company also reported cash and marketable securities of $137 million as of Oct. 29, compared to $99 million during the same period last year.
Economic news shows improvement
The economy is picking up. If only job growth would follow. A spate of data Thursday showed U.S. factories grew last month at the fastest pace since June, construction spending increased for a third straight month, and both retail sales and auto sales rose in November. But the number of people applying for unemployment benefits is still too high to signal strong hiring.
Sales, hours spike November retail sales
Shoppers taking advantage of big discounts and earlier store hours during the start of the holiday shopping season last weekend helped boost retailers' revenue for all of November. Retailers from Macy's to Costco on Thursday reported monthly revenue at stores open at least a year -- an indicator of a merchant's health -- that beat Wall Street estimates. The overall tally for the 21 retailers that reported revenue for November rose 3.2 percent, according to the council of shopping centers.
From Herald staff
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Story tags » BoeingRetailTaxes

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