New York state lost 189,000 private sector jobs from August 2008 to April 2009, almost half of the 400,000 jobs created in the five-year economic boom that ended last year, the state labor department said on Thursday.

The state's April jobless rate eased a tenth of a percentage point to 7.7 percent from March, but labor analysts cautioned against interpreting such a small change as a sign that the eight-month pattern of job losses was about to end.

Any rebound likely will take a few years, as companies often delay hiring until convinced a revival is truly underway.

We're talking about a multi-year process, state labor analyst James Brown said by telephone.

New York City's jobless rate also eased a tenth of a percentage point, edging down to 8.0 percent. The city rate was 4.9 percent rate a year ago, while the state rate stood at 5.0 percent.

In New York City, the big drivers most closely tied to the national economy, financial and professional industries are very weak, Brown said.

The two sectors lost over half of the total of 95,000 jobs private city firms cut since April 2008, he said.

Though the city's construction sector added 2,900 jobs, a normal amount for the month, the industry now has 12,000 less jobs than a year ago, Brown said.

The leisure and hospitality sector, which rises and falls with tourism, added 3,400 jobs, but that is just over half of the 6,000 positions created each April for the last 10 years.

A total of 2,300 securities workers lost their jobs in April. The sector has shed 20,200 positions in the last year, nearly 11 percent of its workforce.

Now we're starting to see more losses in banking and even real estate has turned modestly negative, Brown said.

The overall financial sector shed 3,000 jobs in April, and has lost 26,200 positions over the year. Real estate firms cut 1,400 workers last month.

Professional and business services clipped their payrolls by 1,100 in April, and have shed 25,600 jobs since a year-ago.