Forbes' Kurt Badenhausen sifts through employment forecasts from Moody's Analytics, which found that Arizona has emerged from the recession with the strongest job prospects in the nation.

Arizona was one of the hardest hit areas during the housing crisis, when median home prices fell from $250,000 in 2006 to less than half that in 2011, while unemployment peaked at 11.2% in 2009,

But Moody's sees Arizona's projected job growth at 3.1% annually through 2019, leading the nation.

Rounding out the top five states for future job growth are Florida (2.7%), Utah (2.5%) and Georgia (2.4%). Utah ranks at the head of the pack in Forbes’ Best States for Business for a second straight year.

Not all jobs are created equal. Median household incomes are north of $60,000 in Utah, Washington and California, but are less than $53,000 in the other seven states projected to add jobs at the fastest rates.

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