Still struggling with your career? On the March 15, 2015 edition of Work with Marty Nemko, I devote the entire hour to Workovers: You can call in with whatever career conundrum is besetting you and I'll try to help.

Work with Marty Nemko is heard every Sunday from 11 AM to noon on 91.7 FM and is archived for a week on NPR.org and iTunes, and in perpetuity here on KALW.org.

Under CC license from Flickr user Patrick

A majority of Americans say their biggest financial concern is that they won’t be able to save enough money to retire. This finding, by a recent Gallup poll, is likely one reason that the average age of retirement in America has increased from 60 to 62 years old since the 2008 recession. For many people, though, retiring in their 60s simply isn’t possible.

Sukey Lewis

Sky-high rents, Google buses and gentrification are all buzzwords around the Bay Area. But that is not the case in the city of Richmond. With unemployment at 10.1 percent, the city of more than a hundred thousand residents stubbornly trails behind the rates of Bay Area neighbors like San Francisco and Berkeley.  

On the April 27, 2014 edition of Work with Marty Nemko, a second long-form conversation with Robert Reich, Secretary of Labor in the Clinton Administration and advisor to the Obama Administration.  We discuss employment issues of the day: income inequality, minimum wage, and a spirited exchange on the wisdom of using Disparate Impact to abet minority employment.  We also had a fun exchange about career and life lessons from our early life. 

A day in the life of the underemployed

Mar 12, 2014
David Boyer & Audrey Dilling

After years working in low-paying-but-rewarding social service jobs, Delynn Parker went back to school to get her Masters in Psychology. She had high hopes for more opportunities and better compensation after she graduated. That is not how it worked out. She is now saddled with a huge student loan and has found it difficult to find full-time work in her chosen field. Parker shared a day in her life – from her morning commute to her early bed time – giving insight into being underemployed in the Bay Area.

Liz Mak


San Francisco currently has the third lowest unemployment rate of all California's counties. But while that’s good news, it doesn't mean that much if you’re one of the more than 23,000 San Franciscans still finding it difficult to get work.

Bridging the Opportunity Divide in the Bay Area

Jun 18, 2013

What happens to young people in the Bay Area with no college degree? How can they navigate a labor market that demands high tech skills without adequate education or training? Producer and guest host Victoria Thorp and guests explore new strategies for addressing the opportunity divide in the Bay Area.


Shrinking the skills gap for unemployed young adults

Aug 15, 2012
Sayre Quevedo, Youth Radio

Even with almost 13 million Americans out of work, companies still complain that they have open positions that go unfilled because they can’t find the right talent. One organization thinks it’s found a solution to the skills gap problem. It’s helping young people who have a high school diploma or GED find jobs in growing sectors of the economy like technology and high finance.

Two years ago Breyana Scales says she was stuck between a dead end job painting kids’ faces at a theme park while trying to get through college.

With a Presidential election looming, the issue of the day is still the economy. California has the third highest unemployment rate in the nation, and that just counts people who are actively looking for work. It doesn’t include those who’ve been looking longer than four weeks, or the folks who are so discouraged that they’ve given up altogether.

Independent workers seek communal workspaces

Jun 18, 2012
Irene Florez

Instead of working alone, independent workers—freelancers, contractors, independent consultants and temps—are increasingly joining co-working spaces. These are collaborative work environments where independents can rent desk and meeting space down to the hour. Roughly like a gym membership, at co-working spaces, you pack your laptop instead of your sweats.

In Oakland, 2012 is the boom year for formally expanding the prevailing cubicle-centered notions of work and worker archetypes. By the end of the year, Oakland will have at least four formal co-working spaces. 

Photo by Chaz Hubbard

When Shannon Mills left her job as the director of a nonprofit in Berkeley, California about five months ago, she didn’t know what her next job would be. After freelancing for awhile, she decided to hunt for something more permanent.

“I started putting in applications and you know how the job market is …it was just crickets on the other end. People weren’t even telling me thank you for applying,” she said. That routine can become demoralizing. Mills switched up her strategy, migrating her search for work to TaskRabbit.com.

Courtesy of Flikr user Sunset Parkerpix

Close to 100,000 jobless Californians will lose as many as 20 weeks of federal unemployment insurance benefits by the end of May. Improvements in California’s economy and a drop in the unemployment rate will end an extension of federal benefits. At an Employment Development Department on Franklin and Turk, KALW’s Angela Johnston spoke to Little Vila, John Saunders, Maurice Gonzales and Yvette, who wouldn’t give her last name. Here are their thoughts on being unemployed in today’s economy:

Three years ago, we aired a piece about Caffe Delle Stelle in Hayes Valley, San Francisco. The café was changing up its menu to fit the times – the economic downturn was beginning to slow the flow of lunchtime customers, so it formulated an economy meal. KALW’s Laura Klivans spoke with then-server Flori Mashmeyer, who said the restaurant’s ten-dollar soup or salad and pasta dish was bringing in “a lot more business.”

Work with Marty Nemko

Apr 22, 2012

Barbara Nemko and I read scenes from famous plays that addressed work issues: Death of a Salesman, Prisoner of Second Avenue, Pygmalion. That led to a discussion of the nearly unprecedented plight of today's job seekers. An Associated Press analysis reported on April 22, 2012 found that HALF of new college graduates are unemployed or underemployed. Here's the link: http://www.theledger.com/article/20120422/NEWS/120429784/1410?p=1&tc=pg. I also did three-minute Workovers on callers.


The Labor department announced today that weekly unemployment claims nationwide have dropped by 5,000, and the national unemployment rate is now 8.3 percent – the lowest in 4 years. In California, the jobless rate stands at 10.9 percent, down from 12.1 percent a year ago.

On today's Your Call, it’s our Friday media roundtable. This week, we’ll discuss media coverage of the payroll tax extension, and the renewal of unemployment benefits, which both expire at the end of the month. We’ll also discuss coverage of the eurozone crisis. We’ll be joined by The Huffington Post’s Arthur Delany, ProPublica's Dafna Linzer, and the Globe and Mail’s Eric Reguly joins us from Rome. Join us  at 10 or email feedback@yourcallradio.org. Where did you see the best reporting this week?