Mitchell Hartman is the senior reporter for Marketplace’s Entrepreneurship Desk and also covers employment.
A veteran Marketplace reporter, he was hired in 1994 as an assistant producer on the Marketplace Morning Report, hosted that program in 1996 and 1997, and then served as commentary editor and features editor for all Marketplace productions.
Hartman left Marketplace in 2001 to move to Portland, Ore., where he served as editor of a statewide business magazine, Oregon Business, and was subsequently editor of Reed College’s alumni magazine. In 2008, Hartman returned to Marketplace to serve in his current position, filing reports from his bureau’s base at Oregon Public Broadcasting in his adopted hometown of Portland.
Since 2008, Hartman has produced a number of broadcast series, including, "Different States of Unemployment" (spring 2009) and "Help Not Wanted" (summer 2010).
He also traveled to Egypt to cover the Arab Spring. Hartman enjoys his work as a radio reporter because it provides him the opportunity to “ask impertinent questions and exercise my curiosity to the max.”
Before his career with American Public Media, Hartman worked in human rights and refugee advocacy for the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights (now Human Rights First). He has also worked at the Philadelphia Inquirer, Cairo Today magazine, Middletown Press, New Haven Register and for Pacifica Radio, Monitor Radio, the BBC and the CBC.
Hartman is a native of Teaneck, N.J., and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Religion from Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania and a master’s degree in Journalism from Columbia University in New York.
Features by Mitchell Hartman
The slight rise in weekly jobless claims out today is not as important as the underlying trend — in fact, the four-week average for unemployment claims is down to 335,000, that's the lowest point since November 2007.
If that date doesn't ring any bells, it is the month before the Great Recession officially started. And yet, while jobless claims are at the same level as five years ago, the unemployment rate in November 2007 was 4.7 percent.
So we now have a job market that, from one perspective, is back to kind-of normal. At 335,000 people filing unemployment claims every week, economists expect a pretty steady, healthy increase in jobs created by American employers every month. (Economists think anything below, let’s say, 375,000 jobless claims per week indicates a decently healthy job market.) And yet, unemployment’s at 7.4 percent, which is where it was in December 2008, when the economy was really in the tank.
And this is a story of two countries: For those who have jobs, who kept jobs, things are pretty steady now. Few layoffs, decent opportunity to find a new job if you leave voluntarily or even get laid off. For those who fell into unemployment (especially long-term unemployment), or for those who never found it easy to find a job (poorly educated, ex-cons, hunt-and-peck typists), it’s a 14 percent unemployment world (the “Total” unemployment rate, including underemployment), and the economy is still in the dumps.