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All the pre- and post-campaign rhetoric might lead to the conclusion that federal employment will drop under President Reagan.

It won't. Tucked away in the administration's proposed 1983 budget are figures indicating that the number of government workers will actually grow.

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''A check shows that total executive branch employment in 1981 was 4,909,000 and that Reagan's own program calls for 4,925,000 in 1984 - a growth of 16,000 -people,'' says Rep. Les Aspin (D) of Wisconsin. ''We aren't cutting the federal payroll, merely shifting it about.''

Reason: nearly half of federal civil servants work for the Pentagon, the one department that escapes the Reagan pledge to ''cut, squeeze, and trim.''

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