Western Union, the 145-year-old money- transfer and communication company, is moving most of its central operation to this Denver suburb from Paramus, N.J.

Its parent, First Data Corp. of Hackensack, N.J., already runs Integrated Payment Systems, the former American Express money-order division, from Colorado. First Data said Western Union's move there will save money and bring 300 jobs to the state by the end of 1998.

Colorado Gov. Roy Romer hailed the announcement as "very good news." But it was bad news for New Jersey. Although the Paramus facility will stay open as Western Union's eastern region domestic sales office and its commercial and financial services arm, about 150 of the 300 jobs there will be eliminated by November.

Western Union became a First Data unit last year when First Data merged with Western Union's owner, First Financial Management Corp.

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