Troubles in the U.S., particularly relating to the weak employment picture, pose a bigger threat to markets than the European debt crisis, Goldman Sachs strategist Jim O'Neill told CNBC.
Despite all the focus on weakness in Greece, Spain and elsewhere, the chairman at Goldman Sachs Asset Management said he is more concerned about elevated weekly jobless claims as a sign that the American economy remains fragile.
"The markets are right to be concerned with these (European) issues. But just as importantly to the (Standard & Poor's 500 ) in my opinion is what's going on with weaker job claims and the growing evidence that some of the momentum in the U.S. has been lost," O'Neill told " Squawk Box ." "I'm not sure that the European thing is that important to non-European markets going forward."
Weekly jobless claims for the most recent reporting period stood at 377,000 in the U.S., near the 400,000 mark that is often considered a dividing line for progress in reducing unemployment.
The government's monthly nonfarm payroll report for May showed the economy created just 69,000 jobs, while the unemployment rate rose to 8.2 percent.
Those numbers are of bigger concern than what's happening in the ailing euro zone countries, O'Neill said.
"Europe doesn't run the world," he said.Page 1 of 2 | Next Page