PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — An annual survey of businesses in New Jersey shows some economic improvement over the last year, but not enough to make them ready to hire more people.

The New Jersey Business and Industry Association polls members every year on how things are going and what to expect. Association President Philip Kirschner reports increases this year in sales, profits and spending.

“But it’s modest, and when you see modest growth like that, most employers are able to accommodate that with the staffs they already have,” Kirschner says.

For the fourth straight year, more companies are laying off people than hiring, although the gap is narrowing a bit. Kirschner doesn’t expect a dramatic improvement for another year or two, particularly as long as the real estate market remains weak. And many businesses expect the first six months of the new year to be economically shaky.

Reported by David Madden, KYW Newsradio

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