Although "only" 2,268 Washington area feds have been RIFfed since President Reagan took office, the number of federal jobs here has dropped by 20,421 in the last year because of budget belt-tightening in nondefense agencies.
Federal job forecasters--based on RIF notices that have been delivered here--say that metro Washington, with 347,000 civil servants, is over the worst of the RIFs--for now. But there is a good chance that a new round of RIFs could start in October, when the new fiscal year begins.
The Office of Personnel Management says that as of right now, only 194 workers here are slated to be fired for economy reasons between now and Oct. 1. The RIF hit list outside of Washington covers 1,232 people.
Officials believe that big RIFs are unlikely over the summer because agencies are past the break-even point in this fiscal year when they save money by firing. Because of the heavy first-year cost of RIFs (severance, leave payments and unemployment benefits are charged to agencies), most RIFs take place early in the fiscal year.
If agencies run into money problems between now and the start of the new fiscal year, they will probably resort to furloughs to save money and wait until October to begin any new round of firings.
Most of the RIFs that have taken place since Reagan took office came early in this fiscal year--between last Oct. 1 and March 31 of this year.
Of the 8,941 federal workers fired since January 1981, more than 5,700 got RIFfed after Oct. 1.
The Office of Personnel Management says that 11,975 others who were on RIF lists managed to get other government jobs.
Here is the RIF rundown, by agencies, for the period from October 1981 to March 31 of this year:
Agriculture, 325; Commerce, 685; Education, 54; Energy, 99; Health and Human Services, 3,042; Interior, 48; Justice, 47; Labor, 696; Transportation, 153; Treasury, 150; Action, 205; Consumer Product Safety Commission, 141; EPA, 71; Executive Office of the President, 7.
Also, Federal Labor Relations Authority, 47; Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission, 23; Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, 51; General Services Administration, 160; Metric Board, 11; National Transportation Safety Board, 8; Occupational Safety Review Commission, 17; Office of Personnel Management, 132; Pennsylvania Avenue Development Corp., 3; Railroad Retirement Board, 6; and the Tennessee Valley Authority, 276.