The government's 7,000 top career executives will have to sit out the coming October pay raise while their civilian subordinates and military personnel get increases of from 6 to 7 per cent.

Congress again clamped a salary lid on top bureaucratic pay this week after its interesting legislative snake dance permitting it to keep the $12,900 raise members have enjoyed since March.

To do it, Congress voted not to take the October catch-up-with-industry raise due them and all federal workers this fall. The Senate-House action means that career federal pay has been "capped" at $47,500 until at least October, 1978, more than a year from now.

The pay ceiling means that nobody making that amount can get an increase in October, and persons getting less can be raised only to that level even if the actual percentage increase - estimates range from 6.3 per cent to 6.5 per cent or more - would put them over the $47,500 amount.

Workers affected by the $47,500 pay lid include everybody in government at the Grade 18 level; all Grade 17 employees in pay steps 2 through 5, and all Grade 16 workers in pay steps 7 through 10. Some employees in upper seniority level pay steps of Grade 15 will get only partial raises because of the $47,500 pay lid.

Missing the October pay increase is bad news for the executives - who live and work mostly in the Washington metro area. But there is more bad news to come.

The way Congixed it, those career executive-level employees will never be able to recoup the 6 per cent (or whatever amount) pay increase they will miss this year. When a new catch-up-with-industry raise comes along for executives in October, 1978, they will get the full amount of that increase, but will not be able to recover the increases they will lose this October.