Employer hiring confidence is dragging in recession-plagued Europe, but in Asia, Latin America and especially the United States, robust hiring levels are returning, according to a survey released Tuesday.

New research from ManpowerGroup (NYSE:MAN) reveals that overall global hiring plans in the second quarter 2013 will be weaker than one year ago as employers await signals of a broad-based economic upturn. The Milwaukee-based group's poll of more than 66,000 employers in 42 countries and territories shows mixed results as hiring optimism is expected to strengthen in 21 countries and territories but decline in 15. 

Employers in Brazil, Taiwan, Turkey, India and Panama expect to move ahead with solid second-quarter hiring plans, reporting the strongest second-quarter hiring plans globally. But employers in Italy, Spain, Greece and the Netherlands still report the weakest net employment outlook of all countries surveyed -- with Italy and Spain each matching the weakest employer forecasts ever reported, Manpower said.

Because of the size of Europe's economy, its recession is not only suppressing hiring plans on the continent but weakening confidence among employers based in countries that trade with Europe.

"Employers continue to be troubled by the current global economic environment, where the only certainty is uncertainty, meaning companies remain cautious when it comes to adding to their workforces," a Manpower spokesman said.

There is, however, good news from France: Manufacturers indicate they will hire between 80,000 and 100,000 people this year and maintain that momentum through 2020.

Meanwhile, in the United States, 18 percent of employers expect to add to their workforces in the second quarter 2013, while 5 percent anticipate a decrease in payrolls, resulting in a 13 percent increase in the outlook for net employment. When seasonally adjusted, the net employment outlook rises by 11 percent, based on data from more than 18,000 U.S. employers surveyed.

"As the economic tailwinds of the housing, banking and auto industries continue to pick up, we are seeing a gradual acceleration in hiring, accompanied by fewer companies decreasing staff," said Jonas Prising of ManpowerGroup. "The considerable growth of the construction sector is a reflection of continued progress and employers are responding to this as outside momentum gives them more confidence to push their plans forward."

In China, employers predict an upbeat hiring pace as confidence rebounds in all sectors and regions when compared to last quarter. The Chinese government plans to invest 650 billion yuan in railway construction with 5,200 kilometers (3,231 miles) of additional rail scheduled to go into operation this year, Manpower said.