Morocco faces "poor" growth in jobs with strong "underemployment"

A study conducted by the Department of Studies and Financial Forecasts in partnership with the National Observatory for Human Development (ONDH), revealed that Morocco suffered from a “poor” growth in jobs, with a high rate of “under -jobs”.

Unemployment is a reality in Morocco, and faced with this phenomenon, many people head for jobs below their qualifications, or work few hours per week, simply to earn an income.

Unemployment is also explained by the “poor” rate of job creation, notes a study devoted to the “determinants of underemployment in Morocco”, which aimed to examine to what extent demographic and economic factors could be the cause of underemployment linked to working time and inadequate employment situations in Morocco.

The study, conducted on the basis of data from the High Commission for Planning (HCP), shows that in terms of the creation of job opportunities, the Moroccan economy continues to face job-poor growth. .

The growth-employment elasticity is “relatively low in Morocco, standing at 0.3 at the beginning of the years 2000-2007 and around 0.2 for the period 2008-2020 (12,550 jobs created, on average, for each point of GDP during the period 2008-2020 against 32,264 jobs created in 2000-2007)”, it is indicated.

It also appears that more than one million people in 2021, or the equivalent of 550,000 people in cities and 453,000 in the countryside, are in a situation of underemployment.

These figures correspond to an underemployment rate of 9.3% against 14.6% in 2000, but despite its downward trend, “the level of underemployment remains high in Morocco and requires in-depth analyzes to fully understand the magnitude of this phenomenon.

Regarding underemployment figures, the study took into account the definition of the HCP, which considers underemployed any active person aged 15 and over who worked less than 48 hours during the reference week and who is willing to do overtime, and any worker who has worked more than 48 hours and who is looking for another job or willing to change jobs because his job is unsuited to his training, qualifications or insufficient income from his work current.

The people affected by this phenomenon are mostly a male population (86%), rural at 52.8%, young people not exceeding the age of 35 at 26.6% and without a diploma at 57.8%. “The high level of underemployment among young people is explained, among other things, by a high unemployment rate which, therefore, is often forced to accept more precarious jobs and generate low incomes”, indicates the study.

By sector of activity, underemployment is more frequent in the construction sector with an average rate of 17.3% during the period 2007-2021. With a very low share of part-time work in this sector (0.6% in 2017), “this situation can be explained by inadequate employment situations and by the fact that the jobs offered by this sector do not require generally high qualifications.

In terms of distribution by sector of activity, they are on average 10.3% working in the sector of agriculture, forestry and fishing. Concerning the sectors of industry (including handicrafts) and services, underemployment rates remain relatively low with levels respectively of 7.1% and 8.9% on average.

By professional status, underemployment also remains more widespread among employees with an average of 11.2% during the period 2007-2021. Nearly two out of three employees (62.9%) do not have an employment contract and this proportion reaches 89.4% in the construction sector.

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