Georgia’s unemployment rate has been steadily decreasing for months, but a new report shows that it could be even lower. The annual Family Enterprise USA survey of family firms found that while family-owned businesses remain optimistic about revenue growth in 2013, they are reluctant to hire new workers.

Most of the businesses cite ongoing economic uncertainty and public policy concerns are prompting a reluctance to add workers, according to the new survey, which was released Wednesday. It was compiled from the responses of 230 family firm executives from a wide range of industry sectors.

The fear of hiring doesn’t stem from poor revenue. In fact, 70 percent of respondents reported that they saw revenue growth in the last 12 months, up from 50 percent who said the same in the previous year’s survey.

Similarly, 75 percent of respondents anticipate that their revenues will grow in the next 12 months, only 45 anticipate adding workers, compared to 54 percent from last year.

Some 54 percent of respondents said that they grew their workforce in the last 12 months in response to the increase in business.

“At the core of family-owned enterprises is a focus on long-term, sustainable growth and that is why they continue to be a beacon of hope for hiring and revenue growth, despite the sluggish economy,” FEUSA president Ann Kinkade said in a statement. “But continued unease about the economy, uncertainty about tax policy and federal irresponsibility toward our debt and deficit is a hardship on planning and development for the primary drivers of our economy, family firms.”

Concern over external economic factors grew by nearly 10 percent from last year to 91 percent.

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