FRANKFURT - Germany’s jobless rate remained steady at 6.7 percent in July, unchanged for a fourth month, seasonally adjusted official data showed on Thursday.

The number of unemployed fell by 12,000 after rising in May and June — more than the drop of 5,000 that had been predicted by analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires. But the unemployment rate in Europe’s biggest economy — which measures the proportion of people claiming benefit against the working population — has stood at 6.7 percent since March. Berenberg Bank chief economist Christian Schulz called the result “good news all around for German workers” and said that “Germany’s labour market remains in rude health”.

 “Companies are creating more and well-paying jobs, which raises households incomes and job security,” he wrote in a note.  “The monthly reductions in unemployment are small, because unemployment has reached levels where it is hard for companies to find the desired qualifications in the pool of remaining unemployed.

They resort to mobilising previously inactive reserves or importing workers from abroad.”

This month, Germany adopted its first nationwide minimum wage. The base pay of 8.50 euros ($11.60) an hour will be phased in between 2015 and 2017.

Schulz said that “so far there is no clear evidence that the coming national minimum wage is bearing down on job creation”.

“Although that may change next year, the really negative impact of the minimum wage will most likely hit in the next downturn, when it will limit the ability of companies to adjust the wage bill and thus force them to lay off more workers than otherwise.”