Increasingly qualified, young Moroccans find themselves more and more unemployed, HCP

Increasingly qualified, young Moroccans find themselves more and more unemployed, HCP

The number of individuals aged 15 to 34 remains substantial in Morocco and is projected to grow by 0.3% annually until 2030, according to an HCP report that marked the International Youth Day on August 12.

This growth rate, however, will be slower than that of the total population, which is expected to increase by 0.9% between 2023 and 2030.

As of 2023, the young population stands at 11.8 million, up from 11.5 million in 2014, though its share of the total population has decreased from 34.2% to 31.9%.

The percentage of youth aged 15 to 24 has decreased from 18.0% in 2014 to 16.1% in 2023. Urban youth have risen from 60.0% in 2014 to 66.0% in 2023, while those aged 60 and above increased from 9.4% in 2014 to 12.7% in 2023.

Education levels among youth have improved significantly. According to the National Employment Survey, the proportion of individuals aged 15 to 34 with no schooling experience dropped remarkably from 35.7% in 2000 to 8.9% in 2022.

This decline is even more pronounced among women (from 47.7% to 12.1%) and rural youth (from 59.5% to 15.6%). Conversely, the proportion of youth with at least a secondary education surged from 19.7% in 2000 to 42.7% in 2022, with substantial gains among women and rural youth.

Despite this, youth activity and employment indicators have seen a continuous decline over the past two decades.

Youth activity rates dropped from 53.5% in 2000 to 41.2% in 2022, while youth employment decreased from 42.8% to 31.8% during the same period.

Youth unemployment increased by 2.9 percentage points, from 20.0% in 2000 to 22.9% in 2022, with a low of 14.8% in 2014. Urban areas, women, and graduates bear the brunt of this unemployment.

By 2022, nearly one in three active female youth aged 15 to 34 (32.7%) faced unemployment, compared to 19.8% of males. Unemployment rates differ by residence, with 29.9% among urban youth and 10.7% among rural youth. Education-wise, unemployment is highest among those with higher degrees (40.3%), double that of those with mid-level degrees (20.7%), and over five times that of those without degrees (7.9%).

There’s a noticeable improvement in formal employment for youth. About one in four employed young individuals (24.7%) holds a formal job, a significant increase over the past two decades. In 2000, only 6.8% had employment-linked health insurance, compared to 2022’s 24.7%. Formal employment is more common among young women (38.2%) than men (21.1%) and among urban youth (36.2%) compared to rural youth (8.9%).

More youth with non-fundamental education are underemployed. In 2022, 50.8% of those with education beyond the fundamental level were working below their qualification level, up from 35.0% in 2000. Underemployment is more prevalent among young men (51.7%) and rural youth (53.8%).


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