GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A new survey has found what the top concerns are for job seekers and potential employers here in West Michigan.

The report, conducted by West Michigan Works, took responses from over 1,400 respondents from a wide range of ages, races and people who both do and do not have children. While there were obvious concerns regarding wages, some new information and shifts were discovered.

The COVID-19 pandemic added additional worries on job seekers. When the survey was conducted a year prior, potential employees were looking at how employers handled the safety and health of their businesses. As the pandemic has died down, the shift has been moved from health and safety to how employers handled the economic impacts.

This ties directly to other concerns over wages. Seven in 10 younger people said that current wages for jobs aren’t enough. The older generation shared the same thought to a lesser degree, with six in 10 respondents agreeing.

Another big takeaway from the report is how much childcare plays a role for job seekers. A total of 79% of those who responded to the survey with children said that they want financial help to cover childcare, while 71% would be open to having on-site childcare at their job.

One West Michigan company has already begun the process of introducing on-campus day care in Zeeland. Gentex announced last month its plans to partner with the Outdoor Discovery Center Network to open a day care and preschool for its employees’ children. It’s something that West Michigan Works called a “win-win for everyone.”

For those without children, the top issues were anxiety (36%), the risk of contracting COVID-19 (30%) and finding transportation to and from the job (19%).

West Michigan Works also offered recommendations for employers looking to appeal more to job seekers. Some of these include being more transparent on lingering social and economic impacts from the pandemic, increasing wages and benefits and retaining older employees.

You can find the full survey at