The nation's unemployment rate hit a 49-year low in September at 3.7 percent. It may have been even lower, had Hurricane Florence not disrupted life in the Carolinas.

Three-point-seven percent is considered virtual full employment, meaning there is work available for anyone who wants it. In fact, the demand for workers has led many employers to increase wages and benefit packages in order to be competitive. Just about everyone is hiring right now, and that gives workers options, which is always a good thing.

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Consumer confidence is also high, and that means Americans are eating out more and spending on big-ticket items, purchases that in past years have been delayed. Home construction and repair businesses have more work than they can handle, and retail seems to be battling back against online giants that dominate the marketplace. In other words, the times are good.

The number of new jobs added in September and the steady increase in hourly wages were slightly less than forecast, but the economists say it was a blip attributed to Florence.

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The last time unemployment was this low was in 1969. I was 11 years old. The Archies had the No. 1 song with "Sugar, Sugar." Nixon was president, Midnight Cowboy was hot at the box office and Neil Armstrong was taking small steps and giant leaps on the moon.

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Seems like there is an awful lot of winning going on these days. Keep that in mind as you head to the polls on November 6.

Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.