Business leaders in the San Jose, Oakland, Walnut Creek and San Francisco areas have a soft outlook for hiring plans in the coming six months amid a wobbly national economy, a survey released Friday by the Bay Area Council shows.

Bay Area businesses typically are planning to keep their employment levels the same, the council's survey of 400 CEOs and top executives in the Bay Area determined.

An estimated 58 percent of the executives who were surveyed during the summer said they will keep their staffing levels the same, 30 percent planned to increase staffing, while 11 percent planned job cuts. During the spring, 53 percent planned no changes in job totals, 31 percent planned to hire and 13 percent were planning employment cuts.

Santa Clara County, San Mateo County and East Bay business leaders expressed the most uncertainty about hiring plans, the survey determined.

The council's poll found that 63 percent in Santa Clara County and 64 percent in San Mateo County saying they expect to keep their workforce the same size over the next six months. An estimated 65 percent of East Bay business leaders planned no changes in hiring.

Contact George Avalos at 925-977-8477. Follow him at twitter.com/george_avalos.