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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 (1,951)

Holiday season hiring slows down

Dec 8, 2023
Retail hiring for the holiday shopping period is roughly flat, while transportation and warehousing are down from last year.
Well 80 Brewhouse in Olympia, Washington. Owner Chris Knudson says business is down slightly from last year and it's not as hard to find workers to cover shifts when the restaurant's busy.
Mitchell Hartman/Marketplace

The story behind layoffs at one small business

Dec 7, 2023
Small businesses have been riding a demand rollercoaster since the start of the pandemic. Here's how one music store in Seattle is coping as the rollercoaster heads downward for now.
Patchwerks is a music store specializing in synthesizers and electronic instruments in Seattle.
Getty Images

Manufacturing sector contracts for 13th straight month, but construction spending is up

Dec 1, 2023
The Institute for Supply Management’s Purchasing Managers Index showed worse-than-expected performance for manufacturing, but construction growth shone.
“The housing market is poised for gains for 2024," said Danushka Nanayakkara at the National Association of Home Builders.
Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images

OPEC+ members say they'll cut oil production. Global markets don't seem to believe them.

Nov 30, 2023
Production cuts may no longer be as effective at propping up prices because electric vehicles are cutting into global demand.
OPEC+ members are promising a pullback of as much as 2 million barrels a day, at least half of that from the Saudis.
Joe Klamar/AFP via Getty Images

A New York City street vendor scrabbles and strives to make a living

Nov 16, 2023
The Street Vendor Project estimates at least 20,000 vendors are operating in New York City, but there are permits for only about 6,000.
Vicente Veintimilla sets up his stall at the same place on the sidewalk every day near bus, subway and commuter train stops and Fordham University in the Bronx.
Amalia Silverheart/Marketplace

What a government shutdown could look like: "Things start breaking"

Nov 13, 2023
With Congress approaching another funding deadline, we consider some of the practical effects if lawmakers don't avoid a government shutdown.
TSA agents are among the federal government employees who will stop getting paid as soon as a government shutdown starts.
Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

Corporate earnings have turned up, but can you take it to the bank?

Nov 7, 2023
Stocks have reflected strong quarterly reports. Looking ahead, worries persist about consumer savings, interest rates and a government shutdown.
Positive quarterly results have helped to improve the mood on Wall Street.
Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

Wage growth cools in October

Nov 3, 2023
Average hourly earnings rose 4.1% year-over-year in October; the rate peaked near 6% in March 2022. The slowdown in wage growth is helping the Fed wrestle inflation lower.
The rate of average hourly earnings growth slowed in October, which is exactly what the Fed hopes might further cool inflation.
Chris Graythen/Getty Images
Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell called the current economy resilient. Whether it actually is depends on how you define resilience.
Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

Earnings season sparks hopes of upside surprises

Oct 10, 2023
Optimism is growing that earnings could top expectations and provide a boost to the stock markets.
Getty Images