News that the U.S. economy added 74,000 jobs in December — less than many experts were expecting — led the BlueGreen Alliance to urge the government to increase infrastructure spending.

“We must do more to bolster our recovery, strengthen our communities and build our competitiveness,” said alliance Executive Director David Foster. “Last month and over the past year, manufacturing especially has shown growth, with the sector growing by 9,000 jobs in December and adding 77,000 jobs over 2013. We must double down on the policies that build on our manufacturing successes, like repairing our infrastructure.

“Congress can also help to start the year off right by quickly achieving an agreement to fund the government and raise the debt ceiling over the next few weeks,” Foster added. “We’ve seen what can happen when we put the full faith and credit of the United States in question. Our lawmakers must do much more than that though. Infrastructure investments—that can create good jobs for workers, make our systems more efficient and reduce pollution, and protect our families and communities—must also be a priority.”

The overall unemployment rate dropped to 6.7 percent. The November 2013 rate was 7 percent. 

The BlueGreen Alliance is made up of environmental groups and labor unions. Its members include the Sheet Metal Workers union.