WASHINGTON -- Federal workers in Washington have by far been hardest hit by lay-offs, demotions and induced retirements under the Reagan administration's policy, a congressional study said Thursday.
Civil servants in the capital account for 12.5 percent of the nation's federal work force, but were the targets of 49 percent of the Reduction-in-Force policy in fiscal 1984, the study shows.
In fiscal 1983 and 1984, 2,436 Washington area workers were affected by RIFs, over twice that of the next hardest hit region - Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.
The task force did not have regional figures for fiscal years 1981 and 1982, but spokesman Bob Honig estimated that 'between a third and a half' of the 33,000 federal employees directly affected since RIF policys began in fiscal 1981 worked in the metropolitan region.
The Federal Government Service Task Force also concluded that women, minorities and blue collar workers suffered disproportionally under the reduction-in-force policy.
In fiscal 1984, 49 percent of the 4,777 federal workers directly affected were minorities, who make up less than 25 percent of the federal work force. Many of the women and minorities affected worked for social service agencies in Washington, the study showed.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Department of Education and the Office of Personnel Management were the agencies hardest hit, accounting for 12 percent of the federal workforce reduction.
The 44-member task force, 42 of whom are Democrats, announced the RIF policies have adversly touched the lives of 10 percent of the civilian non-defense workforce in the past five years.
'For every worker directly affected by a RIF, three to four more workers indirectly experienced career disruption,' the study found.
The number of RIFs have dropped by 70 percent since they peaked in fiscal 1982.
Rep. Michael D. Barnes, D-Md., who co-chaired the task force, said the RIF policies are costing the government in morale, and ultimately failing to do what they were established to do -- save the federal government money.
'Our study tells us that no matter how you order or structure a RIF, it's a bankrupt policy,' he said.