Mitchell Hartman



I am a correspondent 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 (1,868)

New trade data shows weakening demand

Jan 5, 2023
Imports fell more than exports.
"One of the things I think is a commonality across both imports and exports is a weakening of new orders,” said Eric Freedman at U.S. Bank. 
Gregor Fischer/Getty Images

Gen Z is the most pro-union generation

Many young workers have witnessed the effects of economic crises and are struggling with the gap between their wages and the cost of living.
Young Starbucks workers picket for their union outside a Starbucks store in Portland, Oregon, in the fall of last year.
Mitchell Hartman/Marketplace

Consumer sentiment inched up in December — from all-time lows

Dec 23, 2022
The University of Michigan consumer sentiment index rose 5% from November, but was still 15% lower than one year ago.
Gas prices falling from their summer peaks have helped lift consumer sentiment — if only slightly.
Brandon Bell/Getty Images

We probably aren't in a recession — but these indicators will tell us if and when we are

Dec 19, 2022
Some signs are already flashing red. Job creation and consumer spending, though, are still chugging along.
“The labor market is still strong," said ZipRecruiter's Julia Pollak. But if it weakens, the U.S. economy may have already entered a recession.
Scott Olson/Getty Images
Wholesale inflation peaked at an annual rate of 11.5% back in March. It’s fallen seven of the last eight months and is now below 8%.
Scott Olson/Getty Images

Consumer credit is up almost 7% since this time last year

Dec 8, 2022
Credit card balances alone were up 15% in the third quarter. Higher prices for necessities and higher interest rates are contributing factors.
Credit card balances alone were up 15% in the third quarter.
Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

Prescription drugs are effective treatments for opioid addiction. Expanding access won't be easy.

Dec 7, 2022
Right now, only 5% of people battling opioid use disorder have access to the treatments. The Biden Administration wants universal access by 2025.
Methadone — the oldest and most widely used addiction medication — is highly regulated by federal agencies.
Hailshadow/Getty Images

Consumers are worried about the economy. They're also spending up a storm.

Nov 30, 2022
They don't like the inflation rate, but they do like the current job market.
The strong job market is keeping consumers’ wallets open, despite high prices and concerns about a possible upcoming recession.
Kena Betancur/Getty Images

Black Friday riddle: Consumers are financially stressed, but still spending

Nov 25, 2022
Their debt levels are rising as the holiday shopping season ramps up. It helps that unemployment is low.
Black Friday shoppers take a moment to rest in massage chairs at the Opry Mills mall in Nashville, Tennessee.
Seth Herald/AFP via Getty Images

The economy's contradictory signals: more jobless claims, but more durable goods orders too

Nov 23, 2022
Rising orders for things like cars and dishwashers point to big improvements in global supply chains and few shortages, one economist says.
Orders for durable goods, which include trucks and cars, are up.
Jeff Kowalsky