Goldman Sachs chief economist Jan Hatzius told CNBC on Friday he sees more bright spots for the U.S. labor market than suggested by the disappointing number of jobs added in August. The economy added just 235,000 nonfarm jobs last month , well below the 720,000 economists surveyed by Dow Jones had forecast. Hatzius' team at Goldman had been looking for a gain of 500,000. On "Squawk on the Street," Hatzius said the weaker-than-expected report shouldn't be viewed in an entirely negative light, even though the number of new hires missed the consensus estimate and his own internal projection by a wide margin. "It is a more mixed picture than you would get just from focusing on the headline payroll gain," he said. One of the reasons for the drag in the overall number was weakness in leisure and hospitality, which added no jobs in August. It had been a key driver of employment growth in previous reports. Hatzius said the stalled hiring in that sector was likely due to the resurgence in coronavirus cases tied to the highly transmissible delta variant. Looking ahead, Hatzius said he sees stabilizing signs on the virus front, such as a decline in Covid-related hospitalizations. "I think there is reason to believe the situation is improving somewhat and we'll get better [jobs] numbers in coming months," he added. The Labor Department's report also had "some offsets" to the disappointing overall job gains, according to Hatzius. Specifically, he said the household survey was "pretty good" and he noted the unemployment rate ticked down to 5.2% from 5.4%. That decline was in line with Wall Street forecasts. In Hatzius' opinion, another good sign in Friday's jobs report was the so-called U-6 rate, often referred to as the "real" unemployment rate. It fell to a seasonally adjusted 8.8% in August from 9.2% in July. The U-6 rate factors in discouraged workers who aren't presently looking for a job but have over the past 12 months, as well as people who are working part-time positions due to economic reasons. Finally, Hatzius said "another big wage gain" for workers in August was a positive for the labor market that isn't immediately reflected in the headline jobs figure. Wages in August rose 4.3% on a year-over-year basis and 0.6% on a monthly basis. Estimates had been for 4% and 0.3%, respectively. Watch the full interview with Goldman Sachs chief economist Jan Hatzius above.
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Goldman Sachs chief economist Jan Hatzius told CNBC on Friday he sees more bright spots for the U.S. labor market than suggested by the disappointing number of jobs added in August.