The proportion of the informal labor force in Morocco amounts to 77% of the total workforce, says a a recent World Bank report.
This new percentage is much higher than official figures announced in the Kingdom, as a report issued by the High Commission for Planning (HCP) last year showed that the share of workers in the informal sector is about 28.7% of the total workforce.
Informal labor, according to the definition of the report, is one where workers do not benefit from social security contributions, be it pensions, healthcare insurance or other risk compensation mechanisms.
The percentage of informal labor in Morocco is the highest compared to other countries such as Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.
According to the “Jobs Undone: Reshaping the Role of Governments toward Markets and Workers in the Middle East and North Africa” report, the region has the highest youth unemployment rate in the world and the lowest rate of women’s participation in the labor force.
A large proportion of the able-bodied population is still excluded from work and employment in the Middle East and North Africa region, the report said.
According to the same source, about one out of every three young people (ie, 32%) aged 15-24 years in the Middle East and North Africa, are not working, in education or training.
In the case of Morocco, the proportion of young people (aged between 15 and 24 years old) not working, in education or training, was around 70% in 2010 before rising to 90% a decade later.
The report pointed out that the proportion of workers in the public sector of the total workforce is about 8% in Morocco, compared to 47% in Iraq and 23% in Jordan, Egypt and Tunisia.
World Bank experts noted that the dominance of state-owned companies leads to stagnation of labor markets, as the state’s presence was counted through public companies across 18 sectors in Morocco, which is much higher than the average in high-income countries, set at 12 sectors.
The report called for limiting the role of state-owned enterprises in the region, and providing an environment for the development of a strong private sector to create sufficient job opportunities for the growing numbers of the working-age population.
The report also indicated the need to limit the preferential treatment of state-owned companies with regard to obtaining financial support and exceptions and exemptions from regulations, price controls and tax laws applicable to private companies.
The report suggested reforms to address constraints on women’s work in specific industries, such as limited working hours for women and unequal pay, and called for the relationship between government and workers to be reshaped through labor market laws and social protection systems.