Caitlin Esch

Senior Producer


Caitlin Esch is the senior producer of Marketplace’s podcast "The Uncertain Hour" — a show about obscure policies, forgotten histories and why America's like this.

Past seasons have explored welfare, the red tape of federal regulations and drug policy in America. In the most recent season, "This Thing We Used to Call Employment," the team investigates how policy and explicit corporate strategy over the past 50 years have led to a steady shift away from traditional jobs with benefits, replacing them with outsourced, subcontracted and freelance “gig” jobs.

Caitlin joined Marketplace as a producer for the Wealth and Poverty desk in 2014. She works on a team that has won several accolades, including a Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing award, a Webby Award, and was a Loeb Award finalist twice. She has a bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s degree in journalism from University of California, Berkeley. She lives in Los Angeles.


Episodes by Caitlin (7)

The Uncertain Hour | Season 5 | Episode 6

Big Boss, Little Boss

Mar 10, 2021
The Uncertain Hour | Season 5 | Episode 5

To catch a chicken

Mar 3, 2021
The Uncertain Hour | Season 3 | Episode 6

Kicking the habit

Apr 18, 2019
The Uncertain Hour | Season 3 | Episode 5


Apr 11, 2019
The Uncertain Hour | Season 3 | Episode 3


Mar 28, 2019

Latest Stories (44)

Josephine Moore: The Working Mother

Aug 22, 2016
Marketplace followed this mother from welfare to work 20 years ago.
Josephine Moore at her home in West Virginia.
Gina Delvac/Marketplace

Ruby Duncan: The Activist

Aug 22, 2016
After experiencing discrimination in the welfare system, Ruby fought to change it.

Larry Townsend: The Reformer

Aug 22, 2016
How the director of a country welfare department changed the national model.
Larry Townsend, former director of the Riverside County Department of Public Social Services.
Gina Delvac/Marketplace

How welfare money funds college scholarships

According to the state of Michigan, it's a way to prevent out-of-wedlock pregnancy.
Students at a college in Michigan play soccer while cocooned in plastic bubbles.
Caitlin Esch/Marketplace

A Promise Zone designation brings economic change

Feb 24, 2016
In South Carolina, a 6-county region gets priority for federal grants and loans.
An abandoned rest stop in rural South Carolina.
Caitlin Esch

Fighting poverty one house at a time

Feb 8, 2016
In South Carolina, a non-profit wants to use a federal zone to spur development.
Allendale County Alive's Wilbur Cave in front of a dilapidated house in Fairfax, SC. Cave's organization bought 14 homes in similar disrepair and renovated and rented them out to low-income families.
Caitlin Esch/Marketplace

Can fixing infrastructure solve rural poverty?

Feb 8, 2016
A wastewater treatment plant in a small town prepares for more business.
Plant Manager Cyndie Moberly (left) and Engineer Kari Foy at a wastewater treatment plant in Hampton, S.C.
Caitlin Esch

How wealth influences social behavior

Jan 21, 2016
Your economic class has a lot to do with how generous you are.

Refugees learn American banking and credit

Dec 29, 2015
Newcomers take free financial literacy classes.

How early environments contribute to later success

Dec 22, 2015
Children raised in predictable — though poor — environments do better as adults.