Ethan Ebanks-Landell's second-half strike, his first in senior football, finally broke the hosts' resistance at Meadow Lane.
And with Leyton Orient slipping up at Preston it means that Jackett's troops leapfrog them at the summit.
The former Millwall boss admitted his side, shorn of six players on international duty, had to earn victory the hard way against a resilient County.
"I wouldn't say it was ugly. Our performance grew as the game went on and we created some clear-cut chances in the second half," he said.
"But we battled away against a very resilient and very determined Notts County side that were playing their first home game under a new manager.
"Notts County started very well and we were slack with some of our passes.
"But the introduction of Leigh Griffiths made a difference because, although he didn't score, he was a constant threat to their backline.
"Our points total means a lot to me. We have 39 points and that's an excellent return so far.
"It's great for our supporters and great for us to be top of the league, but that does put us there to be shot at.
"We have to build on the good platform we have given ourselves for the season."
For Shaun Derry that is now three defeats in his first three games at the helm since replacing Chris Kiwomya.
But the former QPR midfielder found plenty of signs of encouragement in their performance against the new leaders.
"I've been here for three games and we've lost each one of them, but that was the best," he said.
"I'm unbelievably proud. We're going to win and we're going to lose, but let's lose in the right manner. That is exactly the right manner.
"I see more things every day that make me think we're going to get out of it. I know what they can do out there.
"We had some great chances; half chances, but good chances.
"When you're playing against top of the league, you don't expect to have the majority of the game, but we more than shaded it and Wolves aren't going to have many harder games this season.
"At times we left ourselves a bit open on the counter attack and that's the only disappointment.
"It was a good game and it was value for money. Everyone will go home, enjoy their curry and say they had a good day at Meadow Lane."
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- Leyton Orient