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US Economy Grew Slightly Faster in Second Quarter

South Los Angeles resident Christian Del Cid waves banners calling for good jobs, on a bridge in front of oncoming traffic at the Interstate I-110 overpass on a "structurally deficient" bridge to call on U.S. Congress to provide funding for highway improv

The U.S. government says the sluggish economy grew a bit faster than first estimated in the second quarter of the year, but still not fast enough to reduce the country's high unemployment rate.

The government said Thursday that the nation's economic output advanced 1.3 percent in the April-to-June period, up from the previous estimate of 1 percent. Even so, the U.S. said its economy, the world's largest, grew only by nine-tenths of one percent for the first half of the year. That was the weakest six-month performance since the recession officially ended more than two years ago.

U.S. companies have been reluctant to hire more workers, leaving 14 million people unemployed. The government said Thursday that first-time unemployment compensation claims fell sharply last week, down 37,000 to a 391,000 figure.

But the government said the decline may have been an aberration, making it difficult to compare with longer-term trends.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.