The U.S. economy gained 169,000 jobs in August, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics announced today.

While the overall unemployment rate was flat at 7.3 percent, it is down from the year-ago figure of 8.1 percent, the government said.

Sectors showing the most growth included retail, with 44,000 jobs added; health care, which gained 33,000; and professional and business services, which gained 23,000 positions.

The BlueGreen Alliance, a group made up of labor and environmental groups whose members include the Sheet Metal Workers union, used the announcement to call for more spending on infrastructure projects.

“Another month of steady job growth is a win for the economy,” said alliance Executive Director David Foster. “With a summer of gradual progress behind us, we now look to Congress to get back to work on the important issues on which Americans are demanding action, including the economy and climate change. In the next few months, our nation is facing serious economic decisions and it is critical that strategic investments in our nation’s infrastructure are a key part of the solution.”