The Bureau of Labor Statistics says white collar salaries in industry rose an average 9.1 percent between March 1979 and March 1980. The BLS study is used to determine how much of a catchup-with-industry raise federal workers should get in October.

According to the BLS study the average rise for private sector professional, administrative and technical salaries was 9.3 percent. Clericals were up 8.8 percent, BLS says. During the same 12-months period the cost of living jumped 14.7 percent.

Accountants, up 9.2 percent; public accounts, 4.2 percent increase; auditors, 8.8 percent; chief accountants, 11.3 percent; attorneys, 9.3 percent; job analysts, 8.1 percent; personnel directors, 11.2 percent: chemists and engineers both up an average of 9.8 percent; computer operators, 8.3 percent; engineering technicians, 11 percent, and drafters, up 11.8 percent.

For clerical occupations, here are the average March to March pay increases recorded by BLS: accounting clerks, 9.3 percent; key entry operators, 9.1 percent; messengers 5.5 percent; personnel clerks, 8.6 percent; secretaries, 9.6 percent; stenographers, 10.1 percent and typists up 8.9 percent.

That big jump in pay for private industry secretaries, stenos and typists in the private sector is one reason Uncle Sam is having such a tough time attracting and keeping good people in those jobs.