Rabat – Between 2016 and 2017, 67 percent of the 89,000 jobs created in the economy were in rural areas, mainly in Agriculture, Fishing and Forests. Other regular contributors, namely Services and Industry sectors could barely pull up their weight.
With an estimated 3.5 percent growth rate during the same period, unemployment affects the young the most: 29.3 percent of young people aged between 15 and 24 are unemployed, rising the number of jobless people in Morocco to 1.236.000 and accounting for a 10.6 percent rate.
The significant growth of the national economy did not prevent the increase in women and degree-holders unemployment, pulling them up to 14.1 percent and 18.2 percent, respectively.
Whereas the year looked bright with a 4.2 percent percent increase in the country’s GDP growth, the High Commission of Planning (HCP) 2017’s figures on labor show alarming metrics about aspects of unemployment in Morocco.
In 2017, the country witnessed a meager rate of 0.9 percent in job creation, letting unemployment rate climb to 10.6 percent nationwide.
The highest unemployment rates are among women (14.1 percent), graduates (18.2 percent, nearly one in five) and largely young people: 29.3 percent aged between 15-24 and 15.6 percent for those aged between 25 and 34.
Underemployment, or as it’s too often called “disguised unemployment” is not faring any better. From 2016 and 2017, it grew by 0.2 percent leaving 1,027,000 Moroccans, young rural men for the most part working low-paying jobs in the informal sector.
With an employment rate of nearly 50 percent , rural areas are far well off than urban ones. The latter registered a 14.9 percent rate in unemployment, while the rural rate halted at just 4.6 percent, leaving the national average of employment 40.7 percent way behind.
While the major contributor to Morocco’s employment is the Agriculture, Fishing and Forests sector, creating 47,000 created jobs in 2017, this 1.3 percent increase can hardly make up for the 66,000 jobs lost in 2016, especially after 3 years of consecutive losses.
Services is the second contributor to employment this year with its slim share of 20,000 new posts, barely covering for the 15,000 job cuts back in 2016. Known to be a regular contributor for decades, the services sector is showing its first downturn with a timid 0.4 percent growth.