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Unemployment rate reaches 'record high' among Morocco's urban youth

Morocco's government aims to cut unemployment to 8.5 percent by 2021 [AFP]

Date of publication: 5 November, 2017

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Government data for 2017's third quarter shows that urban youth unemployment has reached a new high, amid a broader national rise.

The rate of unemployment among Morocco's urban youth has reached a record high, according to local media.

Quoting official figures from the kingdom's High Commission for Planning, news website Medias24.com said that 45.2 percent of urban dwellers between the ages of 15-24 were recorded as unemployed in the third quarter of this year.

It added that the number of jobless urban youth in Morocco has been on the rise since 2010, when the figure stood at 29.1 percent.

This worrying new high comes amid an overall increase in unemployment, which has risen 0.2 percent in the last year.

Official statistics say that around 1.3 million Moroccans are currently without work.

The country's government has pledged to reduce unemployment from 10.6 percent to 8.5 percent by 2021. 

This comes amid broader efforts to address underdevelopment in Morocco, particularly in regions where unrest and anti-government sentiment has broken out in response to alleged neglect and corruption.

In recent weeks, Morocco's King Mohammed VI sacked a number of ministers and government officials over alleged failures in the country's drive to develop the northern Rif region.

Protests broke out in the region at the end of October last year, when a fishmonger was crushed to death by a garbage truck while protesting against the confiscation of his fish by police.

The Rif region erupted into riots, with protesters demanding jobs, funding for the impoverished area and an end to alleged government corruption.

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