Last year, for the first time in more than a decade, the number of restaurant jobs in New York City declined. And early data show the erosion continued in the first two months of the year, with the losses almost entirely in full-service restaurants.

It’s a sign that steep increases in the minimum wage and perhaps mandates such as paid sick leave are moving owners to reduce staff.

Even bigger losses are ahead, restaurant owners say, if Gov. Andrew Cuomo eliminates the lower base wage for tipped workers or the city adopts Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plan for mandatory paid time off. Advocates for those policies say that the declines may be a blip and that the gains for workers easily compensate for the

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