The San Diego Business Outlook Index, a measure of local business owners’ confidence, increased by 1.7 points in September to 26.7, driven by more optimism about increased workforce hours.

The index hit a low in July at 18.5 and peaked in February at 31.2.

Thirty-nine percent of the businesses surveyed said they expect to add hours for employees during the next three months, up by 12 percent from August, said a report based on surveys of members of both the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce and the East County Chamber of Commerce.

“Development and construction companies, those in the business consulting space and firms south of Interstate 8 generally are poised to increase the number of hours worked,” the report said.

Yet, larger firms aren’t predicting additional work hours.

While respondents say they are concerned about the recent minimum wage hike by the city of San Diego, concerns about increased government regulations have overtaken those, the report said.

More than a few respondents are so concerned about a range of issues, they’ve thought about running for Congress. In fact 15 percent have considered such a move, including 4 percent who have seriously thought about it, the report said.