Amid growing economic uncertainties, employers across the globe are planning to cut back on hiring over the second quarter, according to Manpower Inc., a Milwaukee-based employment services firm.

In the U.S. alone, a survey of 14,000 employers found nine percent said they expected to reduce staff levels in the months ahead, while 60 percent said they expected no change and five percent were undecided, the firm reported.

Similar declines were found in employer surveys in Italy, Spain, Norway and China.

The results showed the weakest employment outlook in more than four years, with only the transportation and public utilities sectors planning new jobs.

"A slowing in hiring intentions reflects a widespread wait-and-see approach among employers," Manpower CEO Jeffrey A. Joerres said in a statement. "However, the survey data points to a gradual and measured downshift, not a sudden and overwhelming change."