The state’s unemployment picture improvement in November, the traditional start of the holiday retails season, as the jobless rate fell from 7.7 percent to 7.4 percent, according to statistics from the state Department of Labor.

The nation’s unemployment rate remains lower than New York at 7 percent.

The state added 4,300 private-sector jobs last month, according to a Labor Department survey.

“In November 2013, the state’s economy continued to expand, reaching another all-time high number of private sector jobs – 7,493,500. In addition, the state’s unemployment rate fell to its lowest level since early 2009,” said Bohdan M. Wynnyk, Deputy Director of the Division of Research and Statistics, in a statement.

Most areas of the state have gained jobs in the last 12 months, but the Poughkeepsie-Newburgh-Middletwon area as well as the greater Binghamton area continued to lag the state.

The Department of Labor says unemployment dropped in the Poughkeepsie area in the Hudson Valley 1.5 percent and in Binghamton it fell 0.2 percent over the last year.

New York City also continues to have higher unemployment than the rest of the state, with a rate of 8.5 percent. The state outside of the city has an unemployment rate of 6.6 percent.