) -- Weekly jobless claims fell for the week ended Nov. 3, but those numbers could worsen in the coming weeks as the effects of Hurricane Sandy are felt.

The Labor Department reported Thursday that initial jobless claims fell by 8,000 to 355,000 -- analysts polled by

Thomson Reuters

expected 370,000 -- as the latest data signaled little improvement in the four-week moving average.

"You'll undoubtedly get a spike in unemployment claims that has not hit yet; it did not hit in the numbers ... because everybody was still in the midst of the aftermath of the storm, but, you know, expect the next several weeks to show a significant spike," Liz Ann Sonders, chief investment strategist at Charles Schwab, said during a conference call.

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A Labor Department analyst

said Sandy had bumped up claims in some states

, and added that the storm could continue to affect weekly claims reports for several more weeks.

-- Written by Joe Deaux in New York.

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