The ministry forecast an increase in the unemployment rate to 14.8%.
Rabat – The Ministry of Labor expects Morocco could lose approximately 712,000 jobs in 2020 due to the COVID-19 crisis, and that unemployment could rise to 14.8%.
The ministry shared the forecast in a virtual conference that Minister of Labor Mohamed Amekraz chaired on Tuesday, according to Maghreb Arab Press (MAP).
Unemployment is one of the areas that Morocco’s government seeks to tackle due to a continuous rise in the lack of job opportunities. Since the outbreak of the pandemic in Morocco, several businesses have suspended activities due to the COVID-19-induced lockdown.
The unemployment rate in Morocco has been fluctuating between 9% and 11% in the last decade.
A study from the High Commission for Planning (HCP) showed the rate of unemployment at 10.5% as of May.
The HCP said the country’s economy created 77,000 new jobs between the first quarter of 2019 and the same period of 2020.
However, the number of unemployed Moroccans increased by 208,000, including 165,000 in urban areas and 43,000 in rural areas.
The country’s total count of unemployed people reached 1,292,000 as of May.
The unemployment rate increased the most among youth aged 15-24, followed by Moroccans aged 25-34, and graduates (1.9%).
Unemployment in Morocco remains higher among women (14.3%) compared to men (9.3%).
Amid the COVID-19 crisis and the notable increase in unemployment, Head of Government Saad Eddine El Othmani announced earlier this week that the country’s economy seeks to create more than 120,000 direct and indirect jobs over the next three years.
The country also seeks to attract $1.06 billion in foreign direct investments, becoming a regional and African leader, El Othmani pledged.
The head of government vowed that his government will launch around 11 national programs over three years to meet these aims.
In addition to the crisis, the ministry officials also discussed with the Minister of Labor the importance of committing to preventive health measures for the safety of employees.
During the videoconference, several officials from the ministry presented indicators relating to support and control visits to workplaces to monitor the compliance of the recommendations.
The meeting also marked presentations by regional directors on the assessment of measures related to the implementation of COVID-19 preventive protocol.