SEATTLE — Washington Mutual Inc., the nation's largest savings and loan, said Thursday it slashed 1,200 jobs — about 2.6 percent of its work force — as part of a plan to cut costs and become profitable again.

WaMu, staggering under the rising cost of delinquencies and foreclosures, said in a statement that the layoffs were made in three areas: home loans, jobs not tied to "mission-critical activities" and positions lost as the company centralizes support functions.

Before Thursday's announced cuts, WaMu had 45,883 employees. Spokeswoman Darcy Wilmot said Thursday that none of the layoffs will occur in Utah.