Growth in service and construction industries lowered Morocco’s official unemployment rate to 9.4 percent last year from 9.7 percent in 2015, the country’s planning agency said on Monday.
Services and construction created 38,000 and 36,000 jobs respectively, according to Monday’s report. Manufacturing created 8,000 jobs.
The government has been developing manufacturing in areas such as car, aerospace and electronic components, in an effort to reduce reliance on agriculture and create more jobs in its crowded big cities.
Agriculture, which accounts for some 15 percent of Morocco’s gross domestic product and employs more than half its workforce, lost around 32,000 jobs last year. Along with the rest of North Africa, the country suffered its worst drought in 30 years, and its cereal harvest declined by more than 70 percent.
The Finance Ministry has forecast the economy will grow by 4.5 percent this year, up from 1.6 percent in 2016, as agriculture recovers from the drought