The Canadian job market was weaker than expected in August, with jobs disappearing for the first time since March. Employers cut 5,500 jobs last month, pushing the unemployment rate up slightly to 7.3 per cent, according to Statistics Canada. Despite the setback in job numbers, 233,000 jobs have been created over the past year, while the overall employment rate rose 1.3 per cent. On top of that, full-time jobs have grown by 2.2 per cent and part-time positions have shrunk by 2.3 per cent. Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, speaking in Marseilles, France, where he is attending a Group of Seven meeting, called the overall growth in full time positions “encouraging.” Still, August’s job shrinkage comes amid continued economic woes in Europe and the United States. Speaking Thursday, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said the government would be “flexible” in its economic approach, potentially leaving the door open to some job-creating stimulus spending should job numbers repeat last month’s decline. For 15 to 24 year olds, the jobless rate this summer was 17.2 per cent, up from 16.9 per cent a year ago.