Employment in Morocco

The total population of Morocco reached 33.8 million individuals in 2016. Of these 10.6 million are employed, 1.1 million are unemployed and 22 million are inactive. This chapter focuses on the 10.6 million that are employed distinguishing the men and women formally employed from those in informal employment. Men represent the majority of the persons employed in Morocco; with 7.9 million men employed and only 2.7 million women in employment in 2016. The difference in the women and men employment is more striking in urban areas. A total of 5.4 million persons are employed in urban areas of which only 1 million are women, whereas 5.2 million persons are employed in rural areas of which 1.7 million are women.

There are striking differences between men and women. For the country as a whole, the employment rate reaches 64.5 per cent for men and only 21 per cent for women, a difference of 43.5 points. In urban areas, the difference is even larger and reaches 45.6 points with a men and women employment rate at, respectively, 58.5 per cent and 12.9 per cent. In the rural areas, it is lower and equal 40 points with men employment rate at 74 per cent and women employment rate at 34 per cent. The share ofjobs that are held by women in 2016 was 25.9 per cent. It was higher in rural areas at 32.9 per cent and very low in urban areas at 19.2 per cent. This feminisation rate has steadily declined since 2006 when it was 28 per cent for the country as a whole (33.6 per cent in rural areas and 21.1 per cent in urban areas).

The employed are for a large part uneducated. In total, 60.4 per cent of the employed had no diploma in 2016. The uneducated represented 78.9 per cent of the labour force in rural areas and 42.5 per cent of the labour force in urban areas.

Young people represent a large part of the working population and in 2016, 41.7 per cent of the employment was detained by those aged 15-34. This rate was higher in rural areas at 46.4 per cent and lower in urban areas at 37.1 per cent. A significant share of youth is, however, neither in employment nor in education (NENE). In fact, 27.5 per cent of young people are not working and not being educated. The rate of youth NENE is almost four times higher for women (44 per cent) than for men (11.7 per cent).

The structure of employment by professional status shows that the employers represent a very small share of employment (2.4 per cent of individual are employers, 4 per cent in the urban areas and 0.7 per cent in rural areas). The employees account for 46.7 per cent of total employment, but this category is more present in the urban areas where it stands at 65.8 per cent of employment and modestly present in rural areas where the share of employees equal 26.9 per cent. The family help accounts for almost 20 per cent of employment and is mostly present in the rural areas (37.6 per cent) and relatively limited in urban areas (3 per cent). The self-employment is an important professional status overall (28.2 per cent) that is significant in both urban (23.9 per cent) and rural (32.6 per cent) areas.

The share of the employed labour force declined steadily in recent years. The share of persons in employment declined from 46.3 per cent in 2006 to 42 per cent in 2016. In the rural areas, the employment rate declined from 58.3 per cent in 2006 to 53.4 per cent in 2016. In urban areas, the employment rate dropped in recent years and reached 34.9 per cent in 2016.

The individuals working in the formal sector receive a wage that is at least equal to the minimum wage. The latter is set for the employees in the agricultural sector and for those in the industrial sector. It is regularly revised and has increased between 2010 and 2016 five times. It increased from 1,433 Moroccan dirhams in 2010 to 1,813 Moroccan dirhams in 2016 for agricultural workers and from 2032 Moroccan dirhams in 2010 to 2,571 Moroccan dirhams in 2016 for workers in the industry. In the public sector, wages are based on a collectively agreed wage structure for civil service positions. In the formal private sector, the wages are based on collective bargaining with social partners. In the informal sectors, wages are negotiated between the worker and the employer.

Wages in the private sector are freely determined but must comply with the legal requirements regarding minimum wages. According to a study by Angel- Urdinol et al. (2016), the labour regulations and particularly the minimum wage policy contribute to higher unemployment rates and limit formalisation in Morocco, especially for youth and women. We believe that a reduction of the minimum wage and payroll taxes would contribute to the formalisation of self- employed workers and to a decrease in unemployment.

Wage employment increased significantly overall and in both urban and rural areas between 2000 and 2016. Overall, wage employment increased from 37.7 per cent in 2000 to 46.7 per cent in 2016. The augmentation was from 61.6 per cent to 65.7 per cent in urban areas and from 17.2 to 26.9 per cent in rural areas.

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