UPDATE 1-Brazil's formal job creation falls short of expectations in October

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BRASILIA, Nov 29 (Reuters) -

Brazil's formal net jobs creation in October came in well below expectations, in the second weakest month of the year, official data showed on Tuesday.

According to the Labor Ministry, the net gain was 159,454 formal jobs in the month against 238,000 forecast in a Reuters poll of economists.

The result was better only than the 96,927 jobs created in March this year, which has recorded a positive balance of jobs every month so far.

The number also represented a drop of 37% over job creation posted in October last year, according to a series based on adjusted data.

Year-to-date, net job creation totaled 2.32 million, helping the economy perform stronger than expected at the beginning of the year.

But the pace lost strength in October, signaling a more challenging scenario ahead, affected by high borrowing costs after an aggressive cycle of monetary tightening to tame inflation, which weighs on companies' investments.

Private economists surveyed weekly by the central bank estimate that the GDP will expand by 2.81% this year but will slow down to just 0.7% in 2023.

In October, data was positive in four of the five surveyed sectors except for agriculture and livestock (-1,435 net jobs). The positive highlight was again the services sector (+91,294), which has guided the economic recovery after the hard blow suffered by the pandemic.

The average monthly salary of the new jobs created in October fell 0.38% from September to 1,933 reais ($363.22), said the ministry.

Formally registered workers in Brazil rose by 0.37% to 43 million in October. Data does not include the nearly 40 million undocumented workers who do not have formal employment registration in the country.

($1 = 5.3219 reais) (Reporting by Marcela Ayres; Editing by Andrew Heavens)