On the way up to Hoover early this morning to do the CNBC interview (it didn’t happen because a traffic accident on Highway 17 slowed me down by half an hour), I caught up on phone calls with long-distance friends. One of them had a story about his employees that’s worth sharing. It illustrates part of what I probably would have talked about in my CNBC interview.

He has about 70 to 80 employees at his small firm. They’re doing well. They live in a rural area and the median wage for the employees is about $32 an hour. That works out to a little over $65,000 a year. Many of them have $50K trucks, ATVs, and boats.

My friend, the employer, told me that he doesn’t check for criminal record or drug use. He can’t afford to. The job market is that hot. If he does see someone come into work who obviously is on drugs, he fires that person immediately. His workers work with big machines that, if misused, could easily kill someone.

That reminds me of my own smaller-scale story about the local job market. I took a friend of mine for lunch a few days ago at Carl’s Jr. The young man who took my order was the same one who took it the last time I was there, which was about 5 months ago. The first time, he was hard to understand and seemed to be trying to be cool as opposed to trying to understand his customer. The second time, two days ago, he was pretty much the same.

Lesson: the job market, from the employee’s viewpoint, is hot. If you’re thinking of quitting a job, now could well be the time.