THE Prime Minister has praised the Test Valley region for being one of the top performing authorities which has helped slash unemployment.

David Cameron spoke about figures released by the National Office for Statistics that revealed that there are a record number of people in work in the UK, and that fewer people are claiming Job Seekers’ Allowance.

In the Test Valley region, which includes Andover and Romsey, 557 people are on Jobs Seekers’ Allowance in the latest claimant count on 12 June – this is 465 less than in June 2013.

It comes as figures show that the unemployment rate fell to 6.5 per cent across the UK.

David Cameron said: “The latest jobs figures in the south-east are remarkable – and a testament to the people of this region’s great towns and cities like Test Valley.

“Our long-term economic plan is all about backing businesses to create more jobs – and helping hardworking people get them.

“Of course, there’s a long way to go. But each person that’s taken on is one more family with the economic security that comes with a pay packet.”