WASHINGTON — U.S. employers posted nearly 7.6 million open jobs in January, near a record high set in November, evidence that businesses are still hungry for workers despite signs the economy has slowed.

The Labor Department said Friday that hiring also rose and the number of people quitting their jobs picked up — a sign of a healthy economy, because people typically leave job for other, usually higher-paying, ones. Federal Reserve policymakers watch the quitting rate for signs of upward pressure on worker pay that may feed into inflation.

The tally of available jobs now outnumbers the unemployed by roughly 1 million. Openings began to outpace the unemployed last spring, for the first time in the 18 years the data have been tracked.

“The question

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