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Economic council: AZ job market better but far from what it was

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PHOENIX (CBS5) -

For many Valley families, hard times have become a way of life, but after years of being down in the dumps, Arizona's economy seems to finally be headed in the right direction.  

Since the start of the year, CBS 5 News has been telling you about companies from all over the world choosing to set up shop in the Valley.

On Tuesday, Gov. Jan Brewer announced ZocDoc is expanding.  The healthcare technology company plans to hire about 600 people at its new Scottsdale location.

[Related: ZocDoc hiring, opening office in downtown Scottsdale]

It's been about six years since the bubble burst and the nation's economy fell apart. Almost overnight, 53 percent of Valley homeowners were underwater on their mortgage and more than 380,000 workers in the area were out of a job. Now that's beginning to turn around. 

"We're probably going to be the number one market in the country for attracting business in 2013 and 2014," said President of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council, Barry Broome.

Although companies are choosing to do business in Arizona, Broome told CBS 5 News it will be 2015 before job numbers will be what they were before the recession. 

Broome explained that the type of growth the state is experiencing is different than anything we've seen since the 1940's and 1950's.

"You're seeing companies coming from China, more international, smarter companies, better companies but not at the volume we need to replace our dependency on housing," said Broome.

Broome said some major improvements need to be made before the Valley's job market can really thrive.

"We have to build a plan to be serious about education and serious about science. We don't have the budget to do that. But in the next 12 to 18 months as the markets recover there will be a path forward for those types of investments and we need to do those as a state," said Broome.

Broome told CBS 5 News to expect the job announcements to continue, he said there will be one every week for about the next two months.

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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