Official Statistics: Only One in Two Moroccans of Working Age Is Active

The situation in Morocco can be compared with that of Egypt, Iran or Senegal (45%), according to World Bank figures.

Less than one Moroccan in two of working age was employed in 2019, with an activity rate of 45.8%, the lowest rate for women (22.7%) and young people between 25 and 34 years (26.5%), according to official statistics published on Tuesday.

Extended working hours, lack of contract, the absence of social security coverage or pension contributions also mark the annual report of the High Commissioner for Planning (HCP) published on Tuesday.

According to the report, out of 26.35 million people of working age (i.e. 15 years and over), 12.08 million are active – of which 10.97 million are employed and 1.1 million are unemployed (i.e. 9.2% of the active population) – while 14.27 million remain outside the labour market, according to the report. With this activity rate, the situation in Morocco can be compared with that of Egypt (45%), Iran (44.5%) or Senegal (45%), according to World Bank figures.

15% of the active population has an unpaid job

In Morocco, nearly 15% of the employed work in unpaid employment and one in 10 (9.2%) in casual or seasonal employment, according to the HCP. About 4 out of 10 employed workers (40.3%) work more than 48 hours per week. Less than a quarter have employment-related medical coverage or pension scheme membership, with the lowest rates in agriculture, forestry and fishing.

Finally, nearly half of employees (54.9%) have no contract formalizing their relationship with their employer, with the share of those without a contract being highest in rural areas (76.4%), among young people (75.4%) and non-graduates (75.7%), according to the HCP.

At the same time, the vast majority of the employed (95.3%) are not affiliated to any trade union or professional organization, according to the same source. Overall, the service sector employs 4,927,000 people (44.9%), followed by agriculture, forestry and fishing (32.5%), industry (12%) and construction (10.5%), according to the HCP.

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