Turning around decades of economic decline in a matter of years is “an unreasonable expectation” even as gains in job growth have been made, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said at an event in Glens Falls on Wednesday.

“It’s been a bad 50 years,” Cuomo said. “You’re not going to turn it around in a couple of years. But we have we changed the overall trajectory? Yes.”

Cuomo defended his record on reviving the upstate economy, noting the state’s unemployment picture has brightened during his time in office.

“The unemployment rate is down, it means more people are working,” Cuomo said. “The fact is the state has more private sector jobs today in the state of New York. We have eight million private-sector jobs. We have never had eight million private-sector jobs before.”

Much of the job growth has been driven by the New York City region as areas of upstate have seen their populations decline.

Cuomo has sought to pump billions of dollars into the upstate economy in order to create jobs, especially in the western New York region.

“Could you be expected to turn around the upstate economy, which has been in decline for decades, in just a couple of years?” Cuomo said. “No. It would be an unreasonable expectation. It doesn’t mean you can’t have it, it would just be unreasonable.”