The latest scan of Garden State businesses about the coming year shows they expect some improvement, but weak hiring will continue.

The New Jersey Business and Industry survey of more than 15-hundred businesses statewide shows expectations for better sales, profits and spending. N-J-B-I-A President Phil Kirschner says hiring weakness will continue, with 71 percent saying they will keep their existing workforce. But he add 15 percent in the survey said they will hire more, 13 percent said they will cut back. "New Jersey is making progress towards a full recovery, but we aren't there yet," he said.

The survey, while finding that business conditions are making continued slow, steady improvement in New Jersey, also found that business activity remained at low levels in 2011. For a fourth consecutive year, more companies reported a decline in their sales, profits, spending and employment than reported an increase.

Still, Kirschner says this is the most positive survey they have taken in the past three years. But many responded with great uncertainty about at least the early part of 2012.