The hospitality sector had the highest take-up of the furlough scheme, of all sectors, between the end of December and end of January, according to the latest government data.

The latest figures from HM Revenue and Customs, for the month to 31 January, showed that the number of workers on furlough, across all sectors, increased by 700,000 on the previous month, to 4.7m.

The accommodation and food services sector had the highest take-up rate on 31 December at 65% of employers, with provisional estimates showing this increased to 68% of employers on 31 January. A total of 1.12m employments were furloughed in the sector on 31 December, with 31 January figures estimated at 1.15m.

The 18-24 age band had the highest number of claimants for both males and females, at 294,000 and 357,000, respectively, at 31 December, with provisional estimates showing a rise to 333,000 males and 409,700 females as at 31 January.

To date, 11.2m jobs have been supported by the CJRS.