Joseph P. Vigorito is a member of the legions of unemployed with an unusual job background.

He is all of the aforementioned things and was fired last November by his employer, the fickle electorate of Pennsylvania's 24th Congressional District.

Vigorito, a Democrat, thought he might cash in his political chits for a job in Washington - a city which abounds in job-holding ex-congressmen.

"I just can't get into the White House at all," said Vigorito. "Those 25-year-olds at the White House - they don't ever return your calls.

"Trying to get next to the President is like trying to get a ride to the moon," he dolefully confessed.

Vigorito was first elected to Congress in the Lyndon Johnson landslide of 1964. He was re-elected each succeeding time, winning 69 per cent of the vote in 1972.

But in 1974, Vigorito ran into trouble when New Times magazine named him one of the 10 dumbest members of Congress. His victory margin slipped to 59 per cent. Accurate or not, the "dumbest" label stuck, and in 1976 Vigorito was defeated by Marc Lincoln Marks, an unknown Republican lawyer from Sharon, Pa., who had never before sought political office.

Vigorito had represented a district situated in the industrial, northwest corner of Pennsylvania. Vigorito's hometown of Erie, with 129,000 residents, is the district's largest city.

Since he left office in early January, Vigorito said, he has been "looking for work with the Carter administration."

"I've been looking since the first of the year. I have been sending my letters and resumes to the [now definct] transition team. But that's been a waste of time. They just tell you that they've put you on file and then they forget," he said.

The former congressman said he has been financing his job search as well as his other living expenses "by going into my savings." He said he hopes his current predicament doesn't last much longer because his savings are almost depleted.

Vigorito is a father of three daughters ranging in age from 12 to 16 years and lives with his family in McLean. He also has a home in Erie.

Vigorito said he has had interviews with the Agency for International Development. He also said he was interested in the post of deputy assistant secretary for energy and minerals in the Department of Interior.

The AID people never called back, Vigorito said. And a source in the White House personnel office said the deputy assistant secretary's job in the Interior Department was filled before Vigorito's resume made the appropriate rounds.

So, why can't Vigorito get another Interior job?

"Most of the jobs left at Interior are for people who are experts in a particular subject. And Congress does not usually allow people to develop that kind of expertise," the source said.

The source said the White House is aware that Vigorito "was very helpful to us in the campaign in Pennsylvania." But, said the source, "The agencies pick who they want for jobs," We have nothing to do with that. They [agency officials] say they have talked to him and are aware of his interest . . . But there are a lot of people who should be getting jobs that aren't. There just aren't a lot of jobs to go around."

Vigorito, meanwhile, keeps sending resumes. "I will take any job that I like," he said. He pointed out that he holds an economics degree from the Wharton School of Finance, University of Pennsylvania, a master's degree in business administration from the University of Denver, and that he was an assistant professor at Pennsylvania State University.

"And I served 12 years in Congress," he said.

Vigorito said he hasn't looked for any private employment "because I've never worked for a private company." What about private practice as a certified public accountant? "Private practice would be too much of a grind . . . Besides, I'm a little rusty," he said.

Vigorito said most of the people he has talked to in his job search "seem to be 15 to 20 years younger than I am."

'I don't know, but maybe they think I'm over the hill," he said.

If he doesn't "hear anything pretty quick" in response to his resumes and letters of application, "I might decide to run again for re-election. I think I have a 50-50 chance of winning," Vigorito said.