The dramatic increase in Morocco’s unemployment rate due to the COVID-19 crisis reaches an 18-year high.
Rabat – The Directorate of Studies and Financial Forecasting (DEPF) announced that the rate of unemployment in Morocco rose by 2.7 points, to 11.9% in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the last three years, Morocco has created an average of 121,000 jobs however, the Moroccan economy suffered a net loss of 432,000 jobs, including 137,000 positions in urban areas and 295,000 in rural areas.
According to the DEPF, Morocco recorded job losses in many sectors. The “agriculture, forestry and fishing” sector lost 237,000 jobs, 37,000 in the “industrial sector”, 9,000 in the crafts industry, and 107,000 in the service sector.
Dividing the rate of employment into two categories shows nearly a threefold difference between rural areas (an increase of 2.2 points to 5.9%) compared to urban areas (up 2.9 points to 15.8%).
The biggest increase in unemployment rates was in graduates (+ 2.8 points), young people between the ages of 15 and 24 (+ 6.3 points), and 25 to 34 (+ 3.4 points).
In 2020, the Ministry of Labor predicted that Morocco would lose approximately 712,000 jobs in addition to an unemployment rate that could rise to (14.8%) due to the coronavirus crisis.
The High Commission for Planning (HCP) released a study in February 2021 comparing unemployment rates in 2020 to the rate in 2019.
The study noted that the number of unemployed people rose by 322,000 in 2020, with 224,000 in urban areas and 98,000 in rural areas, to make a total of 1,429,000.
Unemployment among women (16.2%) appears to be higher than in men (10.7%), as well as unemployment among graduates (18.5%) versus people with non-graduates, noted the HCP study.
Comparing 2019 to 2020, the most notable increases were reported among young people between the ages of 15 and 24 (31.2%).