(Ecofin Agency) - The job market in Morocco lost 432,000 positions last year due to the coronavirus pandemic and bad agricultural campaign. Figures were provided by the High Commission for Planning (HCP) in February 3 note.
According to the public body, jobs were lost in all sectors both in rural and urban areas. The situation is characterized by "job destruction, a drop in the hourly volume of work, and an increase in unemployment, underemployment, and inactivity,” the note reads.
With the deployment of restrictive measures related to covid-19 and the setbacks related to a second year of drought that affected wheat production in particular for the 2019-2020 season, Morocco experienced the loss of 295,000 jobs in rural areas and 137,000 in urban areas.
HCP reports a loss of 107,000 jobs in the services sector, 273,000 jobs in the sector including agriculture, forestry and fisheries, 37,000 jobs in the industry and handicrafts sector and 9,000 jobs in the construction sector. In addition, weekly hours worked decreased by 20%, from an average 45.2 hours to 37.5 hours.
The number of unemployed persons rose to 1, 429,000, causing the unemployment rate to rise to 11.9% in contrast to 2019 when 165,000 jobs was created. The number of underemployed people rose from 1, 001,000 in 2019 to 1, 127,000, resulting in a national rate of 10.7%. The labor sector was hit hard by the closure of borders, but also by lockdown, telework and the imposition of curfews.
Despite this situation, Morocco is likely to have a positive growth in 2021. According to the provisional economic budget published by the HCP on Thursday, February 4, 2021, the country's GDP should grow by 4.6%, after the 7% recession in 2020. And the unemployment rate is forecasted to drop to 11.1%.