The unemployment rate in Morocco rose to 11.9 per cent of the working population last year, compared with 9.2 per cent in 2019.
In a report issued yesterday, Morocco's High Commission for Planning (HCP), the country's official national statistics office, attributed the surge in unemployment to the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic, and the drought affecting agriculture.
Morocco has shut down most of its vital facilities since last March to reduce the spread of Covid-19. Moreover, rainfall during the traditional season wasn't enough to help farmers.
According to the HCP, the number of unemployed people in the Kingdom rose by 322,000 in 2020, taking the total to 1.4 million. The rate for women reached 16.2 per cent, while 10.7 per cent of men are unemployed. The highest percentage among specific groups is 18.5 for graduates. In urban areas, the unemployment rate is 15.8 per cent, compared with 5.9 per cent in rural areas.
The HCP pointed out that 273,000 jobs were lost in the agricultural sector, and 9,000 were lost in construction and public works. Meanwhile, 37,000 new jobs were created in industry, along with 107,000 in the service sector.