Morocco at a Glance
Working in Morocco
- Morocco is experiencing steady economic growth; however, income inequality and unemployment remain high.
- Casablanca is the headquarters of a lot of multinational companies in the country.
- It is strongly advised to get private health insurance as an expatriate.
Morocco has a diverse and open market-oriented economy, which benefits greatly from its proximity to Europe. This stable economy has been marked by steady growth and low inflation in recent years, although a poor harvest and the economic difficulties in Europe lead to an economic slowdown in 2012. However, 2015 provided a decent economic performance, with the help of public investment and domestic consumption; the economy experienced a growth rate of 4.9%, compared to the 2.4% of 2014.
Three-fourths of the people working in Morocco live in the coastal plains and plateaus. This area includes most of Morocco’s cities and modern agricultural lands. Some major challenges still facing the Moroccan economy include corruption, high illiteracy, particularly in rural areas, high unemployment (10%), and poverty.
Key Economic Sectors
Morocco’s GDP (Purchasing Power Parity) reached 274.5 billion USD in 2015. Key sectors of the economy include agriculture, tourism, textiles, phosphate rock mining and processing, food canning, construction, energy, and subcomponents.
The economy remains dependent on the state of the agricultural sector, in which 39.1% of the people working in Morocco are employed. The remainder of the workforce either works in the industry sector (20.3%) or the services sector. Tourism is a major industry within the service sector, with over nine million visitors to the kingdom in 2013.
However, tourism revenue is beginning to fall because of the situation in neighboring countries. In fact, Tunisia experienced violent protest during the ‘Arab Spring’, and several terrorist attacks have recently shaken the country. In addition to this, the terrorist organization ISIS has recruited members from Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco, and there is a certain risk of terrorists returning to their home countries to commit further attacks.
Expats working in Morocco have many opportunities to participate in the country’s expanding economy. Expats with technology, communications and business backgrounds are highly sought after for their expertise.
Casablanca, as the economic center of Morocco and the country’s largest industrial market, is home to the highest number of expats working in Morocco. Many expats also find jobs in Rabat and Tangier.
The Moroccan government is currently encouraging foreigners to invest in the country, which is contributing to an increase in the already high number of international and multinational companies with a subsidiary in Morocco. Many of these companies have their headquarters in Casablanca.
If you are a native English speaker, you can try to find a job working in Morocco as a teacher at an international school or an English language school. Many English schools will require you to have a TEFL certification.
Foreign nationals who do not require a visa to enter Morocco do not have to secure a job before arrival. Please note, however, that you will need to provide proof of adequate financial means when you apply for your residence permit. Therefore it is best to find a job as quickly as possible after relocating to Morocco.
If you would like to begin working in Morocco, it is vital to possess the necessary language skills. Although Standard Arabic is the working language for most government agencies and the court system, French remains the language of business in Morocco. A growing number of Moroccans can speak English, and that is the language spoken in some international companies in Morocco. However, overall it will be very difficult to work in Morocco without speaking fluent Arabic or French.
Due to the high number of international companies operating in Morocco, asking around in your network of international professional contacts is a good way to find a job. If that doesn’t turn anything up, then you can try consulting the following job portals (in French):
Foreigners who want to begin working in Morocco need to obtain a work permit (attestation de travail) from the Agence nationale de promotion de l'emploi et des competences (National Agency for the Promotion of Employment and Skills), abbreviated as Anapec.
The work contracts of all foreign nationals working in Morocco must be assessed by Anapec to make sure that they comply with the current employment laws, and that no Moroccan citizen or permanent resident could have filled the vacancy. This procedure will often be taken care of by your employer.
The following documents will be required by the Ministère de l'Emploi in Rabat if you need to obtain the work permit yourself:
- two completed forms, with the appropriate stamps
- a copy of your passport
- two passport photos
- a copy of your employment contract, legalized at the local government administration office
- a copy of all your diplomas
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