(CNN) -- President Barack Obama said Friday that the economy's addition of 431,000 jobs in May is another sign that an economic recovery is underway, though he also warned that there are going to be "some ups and downs" in the months ahead.
"The economy's getting stronger by the day," he said. But the recovery is "still in its early stages."
Obama made his remarks during a visit to a commercial truck dealership in Hyattsville, Maryland.
While the addition of 431,000 jobs was the largest monthly gain since March 2000, temporary hiring for the U.S. Census was responsible for 411,000 of the new positions, according to the Labor Department. Private sector employers only added 41,000 jobs.
Economists surveyed by Briefing.com had forecast an overall gain of 500,000 jobs in May.
"Even if you put those temporary (Census) jobs aside, there's no doubt we saw another month of private sector job growth," Obama said. The president argued that the new jobs numbers were evidence that his economic program is working.
Obama slammed his Republican opponents, arguing that the country "can't go back to the very same policies that failed us in the last decade."
"I don't want to go backward. I want to move forward," he said, echoing a campaign-style theme he stressed earlier in the week in a speech in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.