Site logo

Kerala’s Employment Crisis: Why Engineers and Graduates Are Opting for Peon Jobs


In recent times, Kerala has witnessed an unusual phenomenon that has raised eyebrows across the nation: engineers, graduates, and other degree holders are lining up for cycle tests to secure peon jobs in government offices. Despite the job requirements being minimal—a Class 7 pass and the ability to ride a bicycle—hundreds of overqualified individuals are applying. This article aims to explore the reasons behind this trend and suggest actionable solutions.

The Current Scenario

The Kerala Public Service Commission (PSC) Cycle Test

In October, the Kerala Public Service Commission (PSC) conducted a cycle test for peon recruitment. Interestingly, the turnout included a significant number of degree holders, despite one of the application rules explicitly stating that the applicant should not have a degree.

Unemployment Statistics

According to the Union Ministry of Labor and Employment, Kerala had the highest number of job seekers registered in employment offices in 2022—5.1 lakh. Among these, 3.2 lakh are women, the highest such number in the country.

Underlying Issues

High Unemployment Rate

The high unemployment rate in Kerala is a major cause for concern. The state has consistently reported higher unemployment rates compared to the national average.

Mismatch of Skills and Jobs

The state’s education system, while robust, often produces graduates who find it challenging to secure jobs that match their qualifications. This leads to a situation where overqualified individuals apply for menial jobs.

Potential Solutions

Investment in Job-Creating Sectors

The Kerala government needs to invest in sectors that have the potential to create a large number of jobs, such as tourism, agriculture, and technology.

Improving Quality of Education

The state should focus on improving the quality of education by incorporating skill-based training and practical knowledge into the curriculum.

Skilling and Training Programs

The government should also provide better skilling and training opportunities to youth, especially in emerging fields like artificial intelligence, data science, and renewable energy.


The situation in Kerala is a wake-up call not just for the state but for the entire nation. While the government needs to take urgent action, it is also crucial for educational institutions to align their curricula with industry needs. Only a multi-pronged approach can solve the complex issue of unemployment in Kerala.

By shedding light on this pressing issue, we hope to initiate a dialogue among teachers, students, and researchers to find sustainable solutions for the employment crisis in Kerala.