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 Hosted 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)

A public housing project reborn in New Orleans

Aug 10, 2015
Ambitious mixed-income development with an emphasis on education has its critics.
The former St. Bernard housing project, which was flooded during Hurricane Katrina, has been replaced by Columbia Parc at the Bayou District.
Mario Tama/Getty Images

A small credit union brings Hope to New Orleans

Aug 5, 2015
Its investment in low-income communities helped the area rebuild after Katrina.
Bill Bynum, the CEO of Hope Credit Union, at his office in Jackson, Mississippi.
Caitlin Esch/Marketplace

Banking on a New Orleans recovery

Aug 4, 2015
When New Orleans flooded, Liberty Bank — itself devastated — helped to rebuild.
Alden McDonald, (left) President and CEO of Liberty Bank, walks the perimeter of a branch under construction in New Orleans' Gentilly neighborhood, with his son Todd McDonald, a Vice President of Strategic Management at Liberty.
Caitlin Esch

Irvine gets rid of its living wage

Jul 16, 2015
As cities across the country raise the minimum wage, Irvine repeals 2007 ordinance.

Under the radar: Baltimore's 'informal' economy

Jun 29, 2015
Being a small business owner here comes with a host of challenges.
A child runs past a mural in West Baltimore.
Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Ex-convicts struggle to find work in Baltimore

Jun 25, 2015
In Baltimore, and elsewhere, having a criminal record can be a barrier to work.
A view of downtown Baltimore. Twenty years ago, the city received $100 million as part of a federal program to target the nation's poorest neighborhoods.
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Baltimore lab program produces a positive reaction

Jun 23, 2015
BioTechnical Institute says it trains grads for entry-level jobs with a future.
Dr. Wayne Butscher helps Jamond Turner complete a lab exercise. Students at the BioTechnical Institute of Maryland learn lab skills tuition free. The program grew out of Baltimore’s Empowerment Zone program.
Caitlin Esch

How much do TV theme songwriters earn?

Jun 22, 2015
Every time a show airs — ka-ching! — the composer gets paid.
Husband and wife duo Brett and Rennie Sparks make up the band The Handsome Family.
Jason Creps

Baltimore's $100 million investment legacy

May 22, 2015
The city's efforts to alleviate poverty date back decades, with lasting effects.
A view of downtown Baltimore. Twenty years ago, the city received $100 million as part of a federal program to target the nation's poorest neighborhoods.
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

How many jobs does $100 million get you?

May 20, 2015
Baltimore's "Empowerment Zones" offer a history of qualified success.
The outside of the shuttered FMC Corp. plant in Baltimore. The plant used to produce insecticides and other agricultural chemicals, but in 2008, the company moved its operations overseas to save costs. About 150 employees were laid off.
Caitlin Esch