When they call Washington the federal city aren't kidding.
Approximately 570,000 adults here get a biweekly paycheck, or a montly pay or pension check from Uncle Sam for present or past service. Some people get two checks - both pay and pension. The total work force in the Washington area is 1.3 million, according to the Labor Department.
Official government data show that in March there were 352,062 civilian federal workers here with a monthly income total of $561,094,000. But that is only half the story.
Another 60,000 or more employees here - who aren't listed on the federal agency totals - are also paid directly or indirectly from the U.S. Treasury for service with the Central Intelligence Agency, in Arlington, McLean and Washington; with the National Security Agency at Ft. Meade or with the big D.C. government.
Most federal workers here are with the Department of Defense. The two biggest agencies are Health, Education and Welfare and Navy, with slightly more than 36,000 employees each. There are even seven persons here on the payroll of the Tennessee Valley Authority (home base is Knoxville) and four of the 11,000 Panama Canal Company workers are among the federal work force here.
Army has 26,000 civilian workers here: Treasury and the U.S. Postal Service have 17,000 each: Justice has 15,000 people; General Services Administration nearly 14,000; Commerce 19,000 and Agriculture a little more than 12,000. The Sate Department with its related agencies has 11,000 workers, Department of Transportation also 11,000 and the Veterans Administration about 6,400.
Officials estimate that there are about 70,000 active duty military personnel in the area, and about 100,000 (a conservative estimate) civilian federal retirees or military retirees. Many of the military retirees have taken second jobs with the civilian arm government and get tow federal checks.
Members of Congress frequently complain about the rapid growth of the bureaucracy, and the concentration of federal employees (out of a total work force of 2.8 million) in and around Washington. But guess which branch of government has been growing fastest? You guessed it: Congress
In March, for example, 64 of every 100 new employees hired by the U.S. government went to work for tne Senate, the House or some arm of the legislative branch.