Mitchell Hartman

Senior Reporter

SHORT BIO

I am a staff reporter for Marketplace covering the economy, economic indicators, employment, labor and workforce.

What was your first job?

I had a job every summer during college running the receiving dock in a large sheet metal factory in North Jersey that made cans. My first job in journalism was as an editorial clerk at the Philadelphia Inquirer after graduating college in 1985.

What do you think is the hardest part of your job that no one knows?

Marketplace has among the tightest deadlines and the most demanding expectations for daily news stories of any national public radio newsroom IMHO.

What advice do you wish someone had given you before you started this career?

If you love your job, stick with it. If you're really good at something, keep doing it.

In your next life, what would your career be?

Bodhisattva (in the Mahayana Buddhist tradition, a being on the brink of enlightenment who could end the cycle of rebirth and gain nirvana but chooses to return out of compassion for other beings). Seriously, if I came back in a next life, it would confirm this teaching and I would care more about being in harmony with the universe than having another career. If I had to choose a career (and just be a bodhisattva on the side, I guess), I'd be a public radio reporter again.

Fill in the blank: Money can’t buy you happiness, but it can buy you ______.

Tickets.

What is something that everyone should own, no matter how much it costs?

Health insurance.

What’s something that you thought you knew but later found out you were wrong about?

Being a parent would constrain my choices and box me in. It did, but I didn't care.

What’s your most memorable Marketplace moment?

Emceeing a Sotheby's auction of literary memorabilia from the Beat Generation — I sold Jack Kerouac's last shot glass for high six figures. (As David Brancaccio was oft-required to say on air after segments like this: “It was a joke!”)

What’s the favorite item in your workspace and why?

Eve Epstein, my former editor and now office mate in the Marketplace Portland bureau at All Classical Portland.

Latest Stories (1,576)

Unemployment insurance is broken. How can it be fixed?

Nov 18, 2020
When tens of millions of workers were laid off and applied for benefits in the spring, the system crashed. Here are some ideas for making it work better.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Growth in retail sales is slowing. That's a bad sign for the economy

Nov 17, 2020
As goes the U.S. consumer, so goes the U.S. economy.
Shoppers walk in South Coast Plaza in August in Costa Mesa, California. Smaller retailers are having a harder time transitioning to online sales and adjusting to COVID-19 restrictions.
Mario Tama/Getty Images

Consumer prices didn't rise in October. That may not be good news.

Nov 12, 2020
Low inflation is a sign that the recovery may be losing steam.
Customers shop at an Arizona mall in June. Flat prices across the economy might be a sign of weakness.
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Nearly two job seekers for every job: What it's like to look for work now

Nov 10, 2020
The unemployment rate is down, and more people are returning to the labor force. But finding a job isn't easy.
A woman closes up a liquor store in Seattle in July. Job searchers are having a hard time finding work during the pandemic.
David Ryder/Getty Images

Jobs have bounced back in some parts of the economy. Others face a long slog.

Nov 6, 2020
More Americans are returning to the labor market. But more are also joing the ranks of the long-term unemployed.
A shuttered business district in Brooklyn in May. Jobs in some face-to-face services, like bars and restaurants, are still down 15% to 30%.
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

The job market is still in recovery, but it's also still losing momentum

Nov 6, 2020
The decline in unemployment has slowed since an early rebound from the first wave of COVID-19 shutdowns.
The manufacturing and construction sectors have done pretty well throughout the pandemic, but But, jobs in travel, hotels and restaurants are still way down.
Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

Exit poll: Americans are deeply divided on COVID-19 and the economy

Nov 5, 2020
Those who voted for Biden said they are having a harder time in the COVID economy, according to exit polls done for major television networks.
A man casts his ballot at Tippecanoe Library on the first day of in-person early voting in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on Oct. 20, 2020.
Kamil Krzaczynski/AFP via Getty Images

Jobless Americans struggle to get and keep benefits

Nov 4, 2020
More than seven months into the pandemic, more people are filing for unemployment benefits every week than at any point in the Great Recession.
Protesters call on Florida to fix its unemployment system in May. Americans are still struggling to get unemployment benefits, more than seven months into the pandemic.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Campaign spending could continue long after Election Day

Nov 4, 2020
Nearly $14 billion will be spent by the parties and campaigns this year, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. That’s more than double what was spent in 2016.
Jeff Kowalsky/AFP via Getty Images