More reasons why Phoenix will be one of the first real estate markets to rebound.

Nowhere has the recovery been stronger than Phoenix, which is currently the nation’s hottest employment market, according to a new Bizjournals study.

“Phoenix has seen a real boom, and it has been broad-based,” says Austin Litvak, an associate economist with Moody’s, an international research firm. “The economy there really took off in 2004 and �05, largely due to the housing market and the large number of people moving into the area.”

Phoenix has expanded its employment base by 23.4 percent since 2002, almost quadrupling the national rate. Its five-year influx of 325,100 private-sector jobs topped the nation, with Washington’s gain of 245,400 a distant second.

That torrid pace has slowed a bit lately. Phoenix added an average of 68,000 private-sector jobs annually between 2002 and 2006, but dropped to 52,900 in 2006-07. The latter figure was fourth-best in the country, trailing Dallas, Houston and New York City.

“That being said, the growth is still above the national average, still impressive,” says Litvak. “The housing market is going through a correction now, but when it stabilizes, we believe Phoenix will begin accelerating again.”

Moody’s leans negative but you can’t fight those numbers.