WaMu to Cut 1,600 Positions, Close Bay Area Offices

About 1,600 Bay Area employees of Washington Mutual will be out of work after the bank announced it would close two area operation centers.

Washington Mutual, now owned by JPMorgan Chase, says it will shut down its operations center in Pleasanton by early spring of next year.

About 1,200 people work at the center.

Another 400 people will be let go in a closure of an operations center in San Francisco.

With the bank giving 60-day notices of termination, most of the employees being let go will be out of work by Jan. 31.

State officials say California's unemployment rate jumped to 8.2 percent in October from 7.7 percent in September.

The jobless rate announced Friday by the California Employment Development Department was up from 5.7 percent just a year earlier.

The agency said the number of people unemployed in California topped 1.5 million -- up by 95,000 over the month, and up by 487,000 compared with October last year.

The U.S. unemployment rate also rose in October -- to 6.5 percent.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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