The surprisingly strong November U.S. jobs report was no game changer for a still-lumbering labor market, Goldman Sachs chief economist Jan Hatzius told CNBC on Friday.
Despite low expectations for job growth, the U.S. economy created 146,000 jobs last month, defying a predicted drag from superstorm Sandy. However, Hatzius said improvement in the long stagnant jobs sector remained grudging at best — which was unlikely to change anytime soon.
"We're still seeing a gradual improvement in labor market conditions underneath all the month-to-month noise, but it's still pretty gradual," the economist told CNBC's "Squawk on the Street".
Job growth is "still quite slow, and that was the impression prior to this [report], and that's the impression still," he added. (Read More: Goldman's Hatzius Sees 'Sluggish Recovery' in Jobs Report.)
Hatzius, who earlier this week revised his fourth quarter U.S. gross domestic product estimates downward, remains sanguine about the pace of fourth quarter economic growth. The uncertainty over the "fiscal cliff" also complicates matters, he said.
"Our GDP estimate for the fourth quarter is at 1 percent,"he said. "We have been shaving that a bit as the incoming numbers have been on the weaker side. It's not directly based on jobs numbers so there's not going to be an impact one way or the other from this."