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It was well past midnight, and I was on the phone with my co-founder and a potential “company-making” hire who we wanted to join our team. Very badly. An acclaimed systems engineer, this individual would enable us to take our business to the next level. 

“If you look at the pay today, yes, it’s low, but we know that you will make up more than your fair share of return with the sizable ownership and equity package we are giving you,” said my co-founder to the potential hire. 

The potential hire immediately responded back, “Yes, I get that. But I also like cash in my pocket now, and I am getting offers from other firms that, while not as generous on ownership, give me more of a sense of security today.” 

I immediately chimed in: “Totally get you on that, but you also have to look at the downside risk. You can always, given your talents, go work for a larger company. This is the time where you have the opportunity to take a big swing at it and not be a corporate drone.”

After some

Those armed with a newly minted diploma are facing the worst hiring season for new college graduates since the financial crisis more than a decade ago.

Just last year, improved job opportunities and better pay were common across most industries. Now, college seniors are adopting a “take what you can get” approach to employment, according to a new report from iCIMS, a talent acquisition software company.

Soon-to-be-graduates intend to apply for 20 jobs, on average, as of late March, up from 10 in the first half of the month, iCIMS found.

“Candidates are hedging their bets,” said Irene DeNigris, chief people officer at iCIMS. That means there are more applicants per opening and new grads are also competing for positions with more experienced workers who are now out of a job, DeNigris  said.  

In the last five weeks, the number of Americans who have filed for unemployment jumped to 26.45 million, wiping out more than a decade’s worth of gains.

As the coronavirus crisis brings the economy to its knees, increased competition puts downward pressure on salaries and benefits. Starting salaries now average $54,585, down from last year’s $59,765 for entry-level offerings, iCIMS found.

More from Personal Finance:

Already 26.5 million initial unemployment insurance claims have been processed. But millions of claims are still waiting approval as states struggle with a massive backlog.

The backlog is so large that Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear says his state should finish reviewing unemployment insurance claims submitted in March this week—almost a full month after those applicants applied. “We are seeing jobless numbers like never before … but only a small percentage are getting processed right away,” says Dan White, head of fiscal policy research at Moody’s Analytics.

As unemployment insurance (UI) applicants wait for their claims to be approved, here’s what to keep in mind.

My unemployment claim is delayed. Will I get back-paid?

Many jobless Americans are waiting weeks to get approval for their unemployment benefits. But once they’re approved, their regular unemployment benefits as well as their additional $600 federal benefit (see below) are retroactive to when their initial claim is eligible—not when it is approved. That means some out-of-work Americans could be in line for some significant retroactive checks.

Can states run out of unemployment funds?

During the good economic times, states are suppose to build up their unemployment trust reserves. But before this massive wave of jobless claims, …

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Six months ago, Rebecca Henderson wouldn’t be able to share this with a mixed business audience.

But here goes: In American business, inequality is a liability—that is, the lack of a strong safety net carries a cost—and this realization is now front and center, the Harvard Business School professor says.

“I mean, maybe I’d say it really quietly at the end of a presentation,” she says. “But now”—and here, she shouts—”THE COSTS OF NOT HAVING A SOCIAL SAFETY NET ARE FRONT AND CENTER! And people [are] saying, ‘Yes.’”

Perhaps no one is more surprised how suddenly we’ve arrived at this reckoning than Henderson. The COVID-19 pandemic has given the ideas in her book, Reimagining Capitalism in a World on Fire, out today (April 28)—on the costs of inequality, climate change, and the duty of business to address those costs head-on—a perverse timeliness, making these issues not only relevant, but even appealing, to people who previously may not have touched them with a 10-foot pole.

The product of a three-year period of writing, …