Chris W. Jorgensen, 74, a former government official and a retired partner in Hugh Johnson Associates, Inc., a building design firm, died of cancer Thursday at Arlington Hospital.

Mr. Jorgensen, who lived in Arlington, was born in Lake Forest, Ill, and grew up in Racine, Wis. He became a carpenter there and joined the Carpenters Union, an organization to which he belonged for 55 years. In the 1930s, he was president of the Racine Trades and Labor Council.

In 1936, he began his career with the federal government as Wisconsin State director of the Workers Education Program, a project of the Works Prograrm Administration. In 1942, he joined the labor relations staff of the Tennessee Valley Authority.

In 1946, he moved to Washington and became a technical advisor on prefabricated housing with the National Housing Agency. Two years later, he went to China as a labor attache with the State Department. He was in Shanghai when the Chinese Communists took over the city toward the end of the overthrow of the Chaing kai-Chek regime.

Mr. Jorgensen later was a specialist on labor affairs for the U.S. High Commissioner in Germany.

In 1952, he returned to the Washington area and joined Hugh Johnson Associates, Inc. He remained there until his retirement in 1970. He later was a part-time instructor at a Carpenters Union training center.

Survivors include his wife, Dorothy, of Arlington; a son, Keir, of Teaneck, N.J.; two daughters, Karen Scheaffer of Brookline, Mass., and Johanna Weinstein of Shelburne Falls, Mass.; a sister, Lillian James of Racine, and five grandchildren.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the American Civil Liberties Union, or to the Visiting Nursing Association of Northern Virginia Inc., 3308 S. Stafford St., Arlington, Va.