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UPDATE 1-Obama-May jobs report show economy strengthening

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HYATTSVILLE, Md., June 4 (Reuters) - President Barack Obama said on Friday the gain of 431,000 jobs in May is a sign the U.S. economy is getting stronger, although there will still be ups and downs going forward.

“This report is a sign that our economy is getting stronger by the day,” Obama said in remarks to about about 50 workers at a large truck garage in Maryland.

“A lot of businesses that were hit hard during this downturn, they are starting to hire again. Workers who were laid off are starting to get their jobs back,” he said.

However, Obama said there would be “ups and downs” ahead.

The Labor Department said on Friday payrolls rose 431,000 as the government added 411,000 workers to conduct the U.S. Census, the largest monthly increase since March 2000 and one that marked a fifth straight month of gains.

But U.S. private employers hired fewer workers than expected in May, just 41,000 after rising 218,000 in April, a setback for the labor market recovery, even as temporary Census hiring pushed overall payrolls growth to its fastest pace in 10 years.

Obama acknowledged that most of the new jobs were the Census positions.

“So these are temporary jobs that are going to last until the fall, and that may be reflected in future jobs reports,” he said.

“But even if you put those temporary jobs aside, there’s no doubt that we saw another month of private sector job growth, and that is obviously critical, because when businesses are hiring again, people start spending again and that, in turn, gives businesses more and more incentive to grow.”

Reporting by Matt Spetalnick, editing by Doina Chiacu