Having a Job Ain’t All It’s Cracked Up to Be - MSNBC The plight of America’s unemployed is terrible. Yet for the 91 percent of those in the U.S. labor force who do have a job, the numbers also tell a dark story. Take-home pay, adjusted for inflation, fell 0.3 percent in August, the third decrease in five months, the Commerce Dept. just reported. The declines followed news from the Census Bureau that median household income in 2010 fell to $49,445, the lowest in more than a decade, while the poverty rate jumped to 15.1 percent, a 17-year high. Salary and benefit growth “has been going nowhere,” says Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics in West Chester, Pa. “One of the key reasons the recovery has stalled is that real incomes have fallen.” While Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke and President Barack Obama are focused on cutting unemployment, companies including United Parcel Service say they may continue to hold down employee pay because of uncertain demand and a surplus of labor. UPS has “a very reasonable contract in place that will show modest, below-inflation increases in wages” for drivers, Chief Financial Officer Kurt Kuehn told investors in a July 26 teleconference.