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By Les Commons and Laurie Laird
LONDON (MNI) - Wage growth continued to accelerate in the three months 
to July, reaching its fastest pace since the financial crisis, while 
employment growth slowed modestly. 
     The following are the key points from UK employment data 
published Tuesday by the Office for National Statistics.  
     - Total wages surged by 4.0%, the fastest pace since the three 
months to May of 2008. Bank of England policymakers noted a steadying of 
pay growth in August, and the latest data could be an unwelcome surprise 
ahead of their meeting next week.
     - Pay growth was strong across the board, particularly in financial 
service, where wages rose by 5.3%, the fastest pace since the three 
months to August 2011.
     - Despite a 7.7% rise in bonuses over the latest three months 
(concentrated in the month of July), regular wage growth lagged, rising 
by 3.8%, down from 3.9% in the second quarter.
     - Real total wages increased by an annual rate of 2.1%, the 
fastest pace since Q3 2015, but with inflation likely to rise following 
the recent slump in sterling, real wage growth may falter in months to 
     - Employment growth slowed to a below-trend pace, rising by just 
31,000, down from a 115,000 gain in the second quarter. The was enough 
to push the unemployment rate down to 3.8% from 3.9% in Q2, still above 
Bank of England staff forecast of a fall to 3.7%.
     - The total employed fell in the three months to July for the 
first decline since the three months to October 2017, albeit to a still 
elevated 32.777 million.
-London bureau: 44 (0) 203 865 3812; email: