The New York state unemployment rate fell to its lowest mark in more than 11 years in July, while employers in local counties are reporting limited new hiring due to a shortage of workers, state Department of Labor officials said Thursday.

Statewide, New York’s jobless rate fell from 4.5 percent in June to 4.3 percent in July, the labor department said. July’s rate matches New York’s lowest level since March 2007. Additionally, the number of unemployed New Yorkers fell in July, from 430,400 to 419,800, reaching its lowest level since April 2007.

Private sector job growth was modest, according to Department of Labor figures, with the state adding approximately 8,000 jobs during the month. The 0.1 increase in private sector employment brought the current private sector job count to to 8,192,300, a new, all-time employment high, according to Bohdan M. Wynnyk, director of the New York State Department of Labor’s Division of Research and Statistics.

With Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo just a few weeks away from facing a Democratic primary election race against Cynthia Nixon, the Department of Labor noted that since the beginning of Cuomo’s first term in 2011, the state’s economy “has added 1,098,200 private sector jobs and experienced employment growth in 79 of the past 91 months.”

The state’s private sector job count is based on a payroll survey of 18,000 New York employers conducted by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In the Southern Tier Region, which includes Steuben County, there were 229,000 private sector jobs in July, according to the region’s Labor Market Profile. While that number represents 400 fewer jobs than June, it is a 3,300-job increase over July 2017.

In the Western New York Region, which includes Allegany County, there were 554,800 private sector jobs in July, compared to 556,900 in June and 550,100 in July 2017. The 12-month increase was 4,700 or nearly 1 percent.

Tim Glass, a labor analyst with the Department of Labor’s Western New York Region, explained that Labor Market Profiles measure “employment by industries” through a a CES survey (current employment statistics).

“That is a business survey,” Glass said. “It’s all of the businesses in the area, and they do a survey, and they estimate the employment for that (region and counties).

According to its Labor Market Profile, Steuben County experienced no movement in the number of private sector jobs from either June to July or from July 2017 to July 2018, with the total staying at 36,600 positions.

Most Steuben County industries are unchanged over the last 12 months, according to the CES survey. Manufacturing (5,300 jobs), Service-Providing (31,800), Financial Activities (1,100) and Goods Producing (5,900) are identical to July 2017 numbers.

Leisure and Hospitality employed 3,500 people in July. That’s 200 more than June and 100 better than July 2017. Education and Health Services also went up 100 positions over the month, topping off at 7,000 in July compared to 6,900 a year ago, according to Steuben’s Labor Market Profile.

Allegany County’s Labor Market Profile shows much of the same, although the county shed some private sector positions over the previous 12 months. Allegany County’s July private sector job count was 10,100, compared to 10,000 in June and 10,400 in July 2018. Most of the lost jobs came in Service-Providing, which dropped from 12,500 in July 2017 to 12,200 last month.

Allegany County industries unchanged from 12 months ago include Manufacturing (1,900 jobs), Goods Producing (2,400), Education and Health Services (3,800) and Government (4,500).

Economists looking at the state’s rural counties are not seeing wide fluctuations in the month to month or the year to year numbers. That also goes for local counties' unemployment rates. Those figures will be released next week, but they are not expected differ much from recent reports.

“It’s not just over the last few months, but over the last few years. Nothing really seems to be changing,” Glass noted.

Glass said a factor impacting rural county economic growth is a shrinking workforce, due in large part to Baby Boomers retiring.

“It’s been a trend that’s been going on for a couple of years now,” Glass said. “Everything’s been basically an aging population, and unfortunately, the rural counties are getting hit by it more than the metro areas. It’s not necessarily that people are moving, it’s just that with an aging population, you have a decrease in employment.

“That’s a huge problem. We had such a huge work force, and now it’s retiring, and it’s affecting things in ways that we haven’t seen before.”

Like most labor analysts, Glass sees current economic conditions as favorable to job seekers and challenging for employers, especially companies seeking workers in the skilled trades.

“Right now, if you’re looking for a job, you can probably find it fairly simply,” Glass said. “I’ll just drive around and I’ll see help wanted signs and stuff like that. I don’t know if we’ll see that change anytime soon unless something dramatic happens. The economy right now is humming along pretty well.”