The important tentacles of federal agencies concerned with life support and growth - the hiring offices - are working hard these days trying to find people to work.
Many federal agencies have stepped up recruiting in anticipation of a federal job freeze which has chilled the bureaucracy.
Government officials say they are not sure where or how the job freeze rumor - outlined (but not started) here on July 26 - began. But the rumor is alive and well. And the results is an unusual mid-summer pickup in agency requests to the Civil Service Commission to certify people for immediate employment. It is still a buyer's market for Uncle Sam, however, with many cities reporting 90 qualified applicants for every available job.
The federal rumor milL, which tends to be relatively accurate about basic things like this, has it that President Carter will slap a freeze on most government hiring soon. This is based on talks top White House officials have had with industry leaders, telling them Uncle Sam is prepared to tighten his belt to bolster the sagging antiinflation drive.
So far, both labor and industry have generally ignored the president's calls for voluntary wage-price restraints. Only government workers, so far, have been ordered to take less this year than they would normally get. Postal employes, if they ratify a proposed three-year contract, would pick up pay raises about 19.5 percent along with the promise of no layoffs for economy or automation.
White collar civil servants, and the military, understand the president will stick by his guns and limits their upcoming October raise to 5.5 percent. Congress is now working on a plan to slap a similar 5.5 percent pay lid on the government's half million blue collar workers.
But none of this has impressed labor and industry to the point where their wage and price demands show much in the way of restraint. In order to get the program off dead center, key White House advisers are urging a major public relations jolt - a freeze on all federal hiring at least through 1978.
President Carter has not said yes or no yet. But he does have that option under consideration.
White House sources advise that the federal hiring freeze is but one of "many options" the president is considering. But the fact that is a serious option, in view of the present political and economic climate, is enough to send chills up the spine of federal managers and hiring brass.
CSC officials confirm that requests from most agencies for approval to hire people have increased sharply. They attribute it to the freeze rumor, but stress that the actual freeze itself is still in the idea stage.
Guide for a Job Hunters: A number of would-be federal workers have asked for a repeat of the names and numbers of private firms which keep tabs on federal job openinings. There are two such services, based locally, whose lists are so up-to-date that many federal agencies subscribe to them to keep current on hiring trends.
The job sheets are available from:
Federal Research Service, P.O. Box 1059, Vienna, Va. 22180. Telephone is (703) 281-0200.
Federal Job Letter, P.O. Box 2126, Reston, Va., 22090. Telephone number (703) 471-1417.
Remember, these services are competitors and they don't work for nothing. Check them out and compare services. Both are rated excellent by government personnel officials.
Job Director: Art Chantker is offering his updated directory of federal personnel offices and telephone numbers for $4.95 (plus 50 cents postage and handling). Details from P.O. Box 34740, Bethesda, Md. 20034, or by calling (301) 340-2220.
Peace Corps and VISTA Volunteers: Former volunteers have noncompetitive eligibility for federal employment for one full year after service. All the former volunteers need to do is meet basic requirements for the job. Details from the Outplacement Service at ACTION, 254-8326.