A "damned mad" Walter F. Mondale today lashed out at President Reagan's claims of economic recovery, charging that the president has only put back to work those people who lost their jobs during the recession of 1981-82.

Trying to bounce back from what aides acknowledged was a lackluster Labor Day kickoff, Democratic presidential candidate Mondale also went back to his theme that Reagan's economic policies had made the rich richer and "average Americans" poorer.

"All during his public career, he has in effect worked for people of great wealth or great power," Mondale said of Reagan in a speech to a group of meatcutters. "Under Mr. Reagan, the rich will get richer and average Americans will get poorer. I think that's dead wrong . . . . If a president won't stand up for average working Americans, who will?"

In an appearance later, Mondale attacked the president on education, saying Reagan had cut educational programs "more deeply and more insensitively" than had any previous president, and "shrank the future of America by slashing funds for research programs."

In his speech here, Mondale ridiculed Reagan on a central theme of the president's reelection campaign -- the economic recovery now in progress.

"He's put a lot of people he put out of work back to work and he calls it full employment," Mondale said. "If you believe in jobs and full employment, you're looking at the candidate who will make the difference."

The audience of about 300 responded with strong applause.

Responding to Reagan, who said Monday that those who charged that his policies benefited only the rich were simply envious, Mondale said: "I wouldn't blame you for being envious when you saw that your taxes went up and these wealthy ones went clear down. But I don't think envy's the real word. I think it's anger. I'm mad. I'm angry. I'm damned mad, because I don't think it's right." And Mondale poked fun at Republican commercials showing pictures of a prosperous America. "If the cameras weren't here, I'd describe it for what it is," he said. "It begins with a 'B.' "

Mondale appeared here today at a corporate headquarters and processing facility of Ralphs grocery stores, the largest supermarket chain in the state and one of the largest in the nation.

About 1,000 people work in this complex in a suburb of Los Angeles. But Mondale's talk was aimed primarily at the meatcutters and clerical workers who make about $17,000 a year and whose votes are considered essential here and in other states if Mondale is to defeat Reagan.

It was the meatcutters in their long, white coats and plastic helmets and the maintenance workers in the blue shirts who asked most of the questions, as Mondale sat on a lunch table with his collar open and sleeves rolled up.

On the other side of the room sat about 150 men and women in suits, ties and business dresses, some of whom said they were Reagan supporters and came mostly out of curiosity.

At times, Mondale joked with the audience. While trying to make a point on job safety, he asked all those meatcutters who had lost fingers on the job to hold up their hands. A few did.

"Did that go into the sausage," Mondale joked, adding later that he felt all of the improvements in work place safety for such workers had come as the result of struggles led by unions. "I believe that unions are central to a fair America," he said.

Earlier, Mondale had been more professorial than populist. He pointed to a chart that showed the amount of taxes paid by the low- and moderate-income people under Reagan and the number of tax decreases for the upper-income taxpayers.

"This is all tilted toward Mr. Reagan's rich friends," he said.

Mondale said those who made between $20,000 and $25,000 a year paid 22 percent more in taxes from 1982 to 1984, while those who earned more than $200,000 paid an average of about 15 percent less.

Mondale also used a chart to illustrate one point in his still incomplete plan to reduce the federal budget deficit. That chart, entitled "90,000 Reasons Why To Reform the Tax System," listed some of the industries that paid no taxes now but would under Mondale's budget deficit reduction plan.

He also said the current budget deficit, estimated to climb as high as $263 billion a year by 1989, threatens the nation's future.

"Every dime that you pay in income taxes between today and the end of the year will go to pay interest on that debt," Mondale said. "It won't buy a thing."

From Compton, Mondale went to San Jose State University, a teaching and research center in the heart of the Silicon Valley, where he termed the Nov. 6 election "a referendum on our values and a crossroads for our future."

"Without educational excellence and educational opportunity, the hopes of millions of our young people seeking a better life . . . will be destroyed," he said.

Mondale is to make a major arms control speech before the national convention of the American Legion in Salt Lake City on Wednesday. Reagan addressed the convention today.

On Monday, Mondale's campaign kickoff was marred by a small turnout at the annual Labor Day parade up 5th Avenue in Manhattan, in part because the parade's starting time was moved up more than an hour to accommodate Mondale's appearance. One senior adviser said today that the low-shows at the parade had muted the blare Mondale had hoped to make on Labor Day.

"I think all things considered, we got the job done," the aide said. "We're going to make so much news on so many important issues in the next couple of weeks, I think the right message will come through." percent less.

Mondale also used a chart to illustrate one point in his still incomplete plan to reduce the federal budget deficit. That chart, entitled "90,000 Reasons Why To Reform the Tax System," listed some of the industries that paid no taxes now but would under Mondale's budget deficit reduction plan.

He also said the current budget deficit, estimated to climb as high as $263 billion a year by 1989, threatens the nation's future.

"Every dime that you pay in income taxes between today and the end of the year will go to pay interest on that debt," Mondale said. "It won't buy a thing."

From Compton, Mondale went to San Jose State University, a teaching and research center in the heart of the Silicon Valley, where he termed the Nov. 6 election "a referendum on our values and a crossroads for our future."

"Without educational excellence and educational opportunity, the hopes of millions of our young people seeking a better life . . . will be destroyed," he said.

Mondale is to make a major arms control speech before the national convention of the American Legion in Salt Lake City on Wednesday. Reagan addressed the convention today.

On Monday, Mondale's campaign kickoff was marred by a small turnout at the annual Labor Day parade up 5th Avenue in Manhattan, in part because the parade's starting time was moved up more than an hour to accommodate Mondale's appearance. One senior adviser said today that the low-shows at the parade had muted the blare Mondale had hoped to make on Labor Day.

"I think all things considered, we got the job done," the aide said. "We're going to make so much news on so many important issues in the next couple of weeks, I think the right message will come through."