February 5, 2019 / 12:01 PM / 18 days ago

Morocco’s unemployment rate drops to 9.8 pct in 2018 - planning agency

RABAT, Feb 5 (Reuters) - Morocco’s unemployment rate dropped to 9.8 percent in 2018 from 10.2 percent in 2017 with services topping job creating sectors, the planning agency said on Tuesday.

The Moroccan economy created 112,000 jobs last year, including 21,000 in rural areas, up from 86,000 jobs in 2017, the agency said.

Services created 65,000 jobs, while construction and manufacturing offered 15,000 and 13,000 jobs respectively.

Agriculture and fisheries created 19,000 jobs as Morocco experienced a good harvest for the second consecutive year after abundant rainfall.

There were 1,168,000 unemployed people in 2018, 48,000 less than in 2017.

Informal labour abounds in Morocco, making it hard to produce reliable employment figures.

The planning agency expects Morocco’s economic growth to slow to 2.9 percent in 2019 from 3 percent in 2018.

The government expects the economy to grow 3.2 percent this year. (Reporting by Ahmed Eljechtimi, editing by Ed Osmond)

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