COLUMBUS, Ohio (WTVN) -- A survey of small and mid-sized businesses shows improvement in sales and profit expectations, but that's not translating into more hiring.
"There's some improvement in the outlook for the next six months ahead, but Ohio business owners still appear to be quite guarded," said PNC Bank Economist Mekael Teshome.
The survey found only one in ten Ohio businesses plan on adding full-time employees. Expecting reduced demand for their products and services and higher prices from their suppliers, especially for construction materials, one-third plan to preserve their profits by raising selling prices.
"I see this as indicating that businesses are really playing defense," Teshome said.
Nearly three in 10 plan to increase employees' compensation during the next six months, up slightly from 27 percent last fall. With their mix of salaried and hourly workers, owners foresee limited impact from the minimum wage increase recently enacted in Ohio. Three in four say the hike would have no effect while 21 percent would hold back and only 2 percent would cut staff.
Overall, Teshome expects 2014 to be better than 2013 for the state and national economy.
"A lot of the weights that were on the economy are being lifted," he said. "We have household balances sheets that are much healthier. Businesses are profitable. The financial system is much more sound."
However, Teshome says it's still tough to find a job in many cases, but that doesn't mean the economy is getting worse. In fact, he says it's getting better, but the recovery is just painfully slow.
(Photo courtesy Getty Images)