The workforce was estimated in 1999 at 9 million. In that year, about 50% were in the agricultural sector, 35% in services, and the remainder in industry and other sectors. The unemployment rate was estimated at 23%.
Although the law provides for the right to form unions, the government interferes with the labor movement. Morocco's 17 trade unions are organized within three federations, and represent about half a million of the country's estimated nine million workers. Employees have the right to strike after engaging in arbitration. Work stoppages do occur, but security forces sometimes break up striking workers. Collective bargaining is utilized on a limited basis.
The 48-hour workweek is established by law, and overtime pay rates apply to all work in excess of 48 hours. At least one day of rest must be granted per week. In 2002, the minimum wage was $162 per month for industry and commerce and about $8 per day in agriculture. The minimum wage is not effectively enforced in the informal sector, and even the government pays less in the lowest civil service grades. There is also legislation covering health, sanitation, and safety standards for a small number of workers.