Promotions will be hard to come by, travel will be curtailed and hiring in federal agencies will be much more selective in months ahead because of the president's new anti-inflation program.
Many of the dollar savings the president projects are based on savings anticipated from the partial hiring freeze and on the presumption that Congress will clear his federal pay reform plan in time to trim this October's raise from 10.9 percent to 6.2 percent.
Carter outfoxed many federal managers who have been on hiring binges over the last few weeks in an attempt to beat the job freeze. He did it by making the freeze retroactive to Feb. 29.
Back-dating the freeze does not mean people hired or promised jobs -- with letters of "commitment" -- after that date are out of work. They can and will be put on the payroll. But the freeze does begin from that date. It means that agencies can fill only one of every two vacancies that occur from Feb. 29. The one-for-two replacement ration will mean a job cut of about 6,500 positions each month and payroll cuts amounting to $57 million.
Promotions will be harder to come by although Carter did not freeze them. His directive says there will be significant agency-by-agency cuts in "expenditures for personnel, operations, and maintenance." In some departments that will mean few promotions for months to come.