Continuing a wave of layoffs, Washington Mutual Inc. will close its Austin, Texas, call center by 2007, a move that affects more than 200 employees, media reports said Thursday. In late May, the company notified 1,400 of the savings and loan's workers in Washington state and Florida that they will lose their jobs as part of a cost-saving strategy, media reports said. Other companies in the mortgage arena have announced layoffs as well. The parent company of Ameriquest Mortgage Co. and Town & Country Credit said May 2 it will close 229 branch offices and lay off 3,800 employees nationwide as part of a plan to consolidate its retail mortgage lending operations....
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