Business news briefs: (10/23/13)

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IRS delays accepting returns

The IRS said Tuesday that it will delay accepting returns for the 2014 federal tax filing season by one to two weeks because of the 16-day federal government shutdown. The delay means the agency would start accepting and processing 2013 individual tax returns no earlier than Jan. 28 and no later than Feb. 4. The original start date was Jan. 21. "The government closure came during the peak period for preparing IRS systems," the agency said. The April 15 filing deadline is unaffected.

EDMC lays off some workers

Workers at Education Management Corp. suffered a round of layoffs last week. Corporate spokesman Tyler Gronbach would not say just how many people were laid off, only that the reductions were less than 2 percent of the workforce, which would put the figure into the hundreds. The company operates 110 campuses across the country. Mr. Gronbach said many of those campuses had job losses. In addition to the Art Institute of Pittsburgh campus, the company's corporate headquarters are also located Downtown.

iPad Air unveiled by Apple

Apple unveiled a new, thinner tablet called the iPad Air on Tuesday along with a slew of new Macs ahead of the holiday shopping season as it faces growing competition from rival gadget makers. The iPad Air will go on sale Nov. 1 and start at $499. A new iPad Mini, meanwhile, will be available later in November starting at $399.

WesBanco reports income rise

WesBanco Inc., based in Wheeling, W.Va., said net income jumped 20 percent in the third quarter to $15.5 million from $12.9 million in the same period last year. Per-share profit rose 10 percent to 53 cents from 48 cents.

Alcoa part of joint venture

Alcoa and Russia's VSMPO-AVISMA Corp. have formed a joint venture to produce high-end titanium and aluminum products for the aerospace industry.

Nokia releasing new offerings

Nokia is expanding its lineup of Windows phones and introducing its first tablet computer, the Lumia 2520, all sporting the powerful camera technology found in its flagship Lumia 1020 smartphone. The 10.1-inch tablet will cost $499. The new devices come as Microsoft aims to complete its 5.44 billion euros ($7.4 billion) deal to buy the Finnish company's phone business and patent rights.

Construction activity climbs

Spending on construction projects rose at a solid pace in August, helped by gains in residential building. Overall construction activity climbed to the highest level in more than four years. Construction spending increased 0.6 percent in August compared with July, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday. Total construction rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $916.1 billion, the fastest pace since April 2009.

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