Mitchell Hartman

Senior Reporter


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 ______.


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 from Mitchell (1,470)


Economic disruption could lead to less reliable economic data

by Mitchell Hartman Mar 12, 2020
The COVID-19 epidemic may make it harder for government agencies to track and report rapid changes in the U.S. economy.
Economic data could become less reliable as people change their behaviors during the coronavirus pandemic.
Jeenah Moon/Getty Images

February jobs numbers don't reveal much about economic impact of COVID-19

by Mitchell Hartman Mar 6, 2020
Economists are tracking other data for clues about where the economy is headed.
The affect of COVID-19 on jobs is likely to show up in shipping and transportation. Above, the cranes are idle at the Port of Los Angeles — the nation's busiest container port — on March 6, 2020.
Mario Tama/Getty Images

Why the seasonal adjustment in monthly jobs data?

by Mitchell Hartman Mar 6, 2020
Smoothing over predictable seasonable ups and downs in unemployment can reveal underlying economic trends.
One BLS economist said unseasonably mild weather would lead to an uptick in construction.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

From financial advisers to restaurant workers — where wage gains are above average

by Mitchell Hartman Mar 5, 2020
Average hourly earnings are rising about 3% per year. In some occupations, gains are much stronger.
Andrew Burton/Getty Images

Consumers see cheaper gas at the pump as COVID-19 reduces demand for oil

by Mitchell Hartman Mar 5, 2020
Companies are using less oil to make and ship things. As consumers curtail travel, they use less oil, too.
Gas prices in the U.S. are down about 15 cents per gallon since January.
Scott Barbour/Getty Images

Consumers are starting to worry about COVID-19's economic impact, survey finds

by Mitchell Hartman Feb 26, 2020
Consumer confidence has fallen back to approximately the level at the start of 2020.
A new consumer survey released Wednesday by Morning Consult finds that U.S. consumers are starting to take notice of COVID-19's economic impact.
Kena Betancur/AFP via Getty Images

For U.S. consumers, COVID-19 is not a big concern ... yet

by Mitchell Hartman Feb 24, 2020
U.S. financial markets plunged Monday on growing fears of the disease. Consumers have not shown concern, but that could change.
Johannes Eisele/AFP via Getty Images

Housing starts down for the month, up for the year

by Mitchell Hartman Feb 19, 2020
The Census Bureau reported housing starts fell 3.6% in January 2020 from the previous month, but rose 21.4% from January 2019.
Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images

U.S. firms dealing with high CEO turnover

by Mitchell Hartman Feb 13, 2020
Executives are navigating new technologies, new competitors, fallout from the trade war and a scramble for talent with low unemployment.
Executives are navigating new technologies, new competitors and fallout from the trade war as they scramble for talent in a tight labor market.

Florida unemployed face weaker safety net

by Mitchell Hartman Feb 12, 2020
After jobless claims spiked in the Great Recession, the state changed its system to pay less for a shorter duration to fewer recipients.
Florida is among a number of states that have cut back on unemployment assistance. Above, Miami Beach.

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