Morocco, Regional

By Adil Khalis (Morocco), expert on entrepreneurship and employment issues, consultant for eina4jobs

Good labor market dynamics began to emerge in the third quarter of 2021, in a context of recovery and reopening of the Moroccan economy. Employment indicators are improving: the national economy created around 642,000 jobs in the third quarter of 2021, according to the quarterly survey of the High Commission for Planning (HCP), against a loss of 581,000 jobs a year earlier. This is certainly a post-pandemic catch-up effect, but it suggests a continued rebound in employment and, consequently, a return to the pre-crisis level in the first quarter of 2022.

Nevertheless, absorbing the stock of unemployed, which is growing year after year, remains a major challenge. Around 400,000 new job seekers enter the job market each year. This population struggles to find work despite active searches, due to several factors contributing to labor market imbalances in Morocco.

The unemployment rate generally includes a cyclical component due to cyclical fluctuations in the economy (recession, decline in sectoral activity, etc.) and a structural component largely linked to the asymmetry of information on the labor market, that is to say, difficult access for the unemployed to job offers, due to a lack of information on them, combined with the difficulties encountered by companies in forwarding their offers to these unemployed people.

The "hidden" job market: 40% of positions filled by cooptation

In Morocco, this so-called structural component would be the most important and would be between 4% and 4.5% of the active population, which would mean that unemployment, in the case of Morocco, is not always synonymous with scarcity. supply in relation to job demand. Indeed, a large proportion of vacant positions in the labor market are not filled within the deadlines. This proportion is expressed by the "TVE job vacancy rate", an indicator that should be calculated and monitored in Morocco for a more optimal match between supply and demand in the market.

Moreover, in terms of recruitment mode, two types of market can be distinguished. The "open" market, estimated at one-third of the overall market, visibly offers jobs through the posting of advertisements to the public. These announcements disseminated through digital tools represent more than 30% of the total according to the High Commission for Planning (HCP). There is also a so-called "hidden" market which covers all job offers which are not made visible by an advertisement and which are filled through unsolicited applications. This market represents a significant share of the overall job market estimated at 67%, of which 40% is through co-option (HCP, 2019).

Based on this observation, a job search strategy would gain in relevance if it also took into account this hidden dimension of the market. Utilization should be made of all means by which a job seeker can access relevant information and employment opportunities that have not been advertised or advertised to the public. The avenues to explore are, among others, the physical network (relatives, friends, ex-colleagues, etc.), the virtual network and door-to-door, a means that has shown its effectiveness.