Despite the anticipated loss of 70,000 jobs in the automotive industry over the next three years, Industrial Info Resources ( reports there are signs of new job growth in the manufacturing industry. According to a study by the research house, 165 new plants will open in the United States and Canada during the second quarter of 2006, representing almost 26,000 new jobs for the industry.

The Great Lakes region, which will suffer greatly due to cutbacks in the automotive industry, is expected to lead the plant openings charge, both in terms of number of new plants and total new jobs during the second quarter. Industrial Info Resources estimates the Great Lakes region will open 46 plants and add 6,700 new jobs during the quarter.

Second in terms of new hires will be the Southwest region of the United States with 4,600 new jobs covering 16 new plants. Rounding out the top five regions will be the Northeast (19 new plants and 3,600 jobs), the Mid-Atlantic (22 new plants and 2,500 jobs), and the West Coast with 12 new plants and 2,400 new jobs.

The new plants will cover automotive, semiconductor, distribution warehouses, printing, mining machinery, among other segments.