Entitled “The labor market in Morocco: structural challenges and avenues for reform to reduce inequalities“, Oxfam unveiled its new”policy paper», Through which it draws up a precise and synthetic assessment of the problems of this sector in order to propose several axes of reform.
The results of the Oxfam study underline that the Moroccan labor market, deeply unequal, reflects the shortcomings of the current growth trajectory and of a not very inclusive society, which marginalizes women and young people.
This confirms, among other things, an already worrying reality on the Moroccan labor market, which is characterized by a high degree of precariousness, in connection with the preponderance of the informal, raises the study.
Regarding informal employment, which plagues our society, it is concentrated in the most precarious sectors, says Oxfam, such as commerce (53%), in particular itinerant and street micro-commerce, in the context of self-employment. employment (street vendors and others). It brings together young people, migrants, women, children and out-of-school people, the same source specifies.
Urban unemployment: Almost one in 5 young people is affected by unemployment among 25-34 year olds
On the unemployment side, the Oxfam study reveals critical data. Thus, and in urban areas, young people suffer massive unemployment despite the gradual extension of schooling. Among 15-24 year olds, the unemployment rate concerns nearly one in 4 young people (24% in 2019) and has been on an upward trend in recent years, the study indicates, noting that people in this age group living in cities are affected by an unemployment rate between 3 and 4 times higher than the Moroccan population (38% in 2019 and up to 42% in 2017).
Unemployment among 25-34 year olds is also higher than that of the rest of the population, says Oxfam, since it affects around 15% of the working population in this age group. Among urban 25-34 year-olds, nearly one in five young people is affected by unemployment.
Quoted in the Oxfam study, Hiba El Khamal, head of the Economic and Environmental Justice program explained that “the immediate impact of the Covid-19 crisis on the Moroccan labor market reinforced its pre-existing weaknesses. The destruction of jobs, as well as the jobs that have not been created, are contributing to the increase in already massive inactivity and unemployment ”.
Therefore, continues the same official, “the living conditions of many Moroccans should be degraded. According to the latest World Bank estimates, the poverty rate increased by 1.3 points during the Covid-19 crisis, from 5.8% of the population in 2019 to 7.1% in 2020. Concretely, this would mean that nearly 470,000 Moroccans would have become poor in 2020“, Says the expert.
The labor market should have created on average around 280,000 jobs per year
According to Oxfam’s study on the labor market in Morocco, job creation is insufficient to absorb the increase in the working-age population. Indeed, the Moroccan population increased by 7.7 million people between 2000 and 2020, an average annual increase of 383,400 people, the working-age population grew by around 7.5 million people, corresponding to an average increase of about 370,000 people, the study suggests.
Consequently, around 186,000 people swell the group of inactive people each year on average over the past two decades, explains the study which estimates that the Moroccan labor market should have created on average around 280,000 jobs per year. That said, only 90,000 have been created, leading an ever increasing proportion of the population to inactivity, the same source indicates.
Regarding the situation of women in the labor market, the study suggests that they remain over-represented in sectors where employment is precarious and working conditions more difficult, in particular the sectors of agriculture, domestic work. , textile-clothing, informal economy in general.
Based on HCP data on the characteristics of the working population employed in 2019, the study recalls that the activity rate reached 45.8%, of which 42.3% in urban areas and 52.2% in rural areas, 71% among men and 21.5% among women.
Thus, Oxfam underlines in its study that, whatever their level of education, women encounter more difficulties than men in finding a job at an equivalent level of education, but nevertheless recognizes the commitments made in the program of the new government as well as the ambitious priorities announced.
Among its government priorities, Oxfam cites the creation of one million net jobs over the next five years, increasing the participation rate of women to over 30%, instead of the current 20%, reduction of social and territorial disparities to less than 39%, instead of 46.4% according to the Gini index and finally the generalization of the compensation for job loss (IPE) by 2025 to anyone with stable employment.
“In Morocco, half of the demographic window has already closed and the country has not been able to take advantage of this opportunity. The shortcomings of the labor market are indeed too great to cause a rapid and sustainable increase in GDP per capita and to include the most vulnerable populations.“, Said Abdeljalil Laroussi, advocacy and campaign manager, quoted in the study.
What Oxfam offers
Thus, and to meet the structural challenges and reduce inequalities in the labor market in Morocco, Oxfam believes in its study that strong and urgent measures are needed to respond to the crisis of inequalities and social injustice by proposing several measures. .
Thus, and while welcoming and encouraging the work of generalization of social protection, Oxfam considers that this reform must also be a means of curbing gender inequalities, in particular by decoupling access to social coverage from the occupation of a job is able to serve the improvement of the living conditions of Moroccan women.
Oxfam also recommends protecting employment, especially SMEs and VSEs through a plan targeting primarily young people and women by setting up a plan to formalize economic activity, improve the flexibility of administrative procedures, invest in programs support and post-creation mentoring and introduce tax breaks for companies for the hiring of young people on permanent contracts.
Ultimately, Oxfam recommends investing in the employability of young people by promoting measures such as improving the quality of post-baccalaureate training, in particular by bringing them closer to the needs of the private sector, and by increasing, for example, paid internships while by investing in sectors of activity for which Morocco already has a qualified workforce. Finally, the organization offers vocational training mechanisms allowing for the specialization of skills.