>> France's jobless rate is falling faster then it has done for a decade. And President Emmanuel Macron would dearly love to claim credit for tackling what is long being a scourge of the French economy. But there are signs the country's unemployment worries are not yet over. In Paris, I'm deputy bureau chief Richard Lough.
Today's jobless data shows the unemployment rate falling below 9% for the first time since 2009. And registering the sharpest quarterly drop since the 2008 financial crisis. Moreover, job creation accelerated at its fastest lick since 2007. And business morale is at fresh highs. So, is France really back, as President Macron would like to have it?
With his election in the summer, the 40 year old blew apart France's political landscape. And since then, he's set about reshaping the economy. First of all, easing labor regulations in September. And now embarking on reforms to overhaul the training and apprenticeship systems. Key questions still hang over this data.
Number one, how sustainable is France's job creation? And secondly, how much is really due to Macron? How much is down to lucky timing, and the wider buoyant trends that we're seeing in the Eurozone and beyond? Indeed, there are signs this growth in job creation could be hard to sustain.
French companies are increasingly complaining that they're finding it hard to find skilled labor to fill their gaps. That could have two effects. It could firstly, choke the economic recovery. And secondly, as these companies compete for scant labor, they may be forced to offer high salaries. That in turn, could push wage inflation higher.
But if this one indicator that will surely offer Macron some encouragement, it's the surge in permanent contracts being offered. That's a surefire sign that French businesses are betting on a sustainable economic recovery.