Regardless of whether the economy is in a rough spot or not, it’s important that kids in high school get a job; the most important reason being that they will learn a better appreciation of the value of money and the things that it can buy if they are earning some of it themselves.
When high school kids are just handed the things they want, or are given money whenever they ask, it tends to build a sense of entitlement that would not be there if they had to earn some or all of the money they use for their own personal enjoyment, or even for buying things like their own clothes.
When kids make their own money, there is also less friction between parents and their kids, because there are fewer arguments about money, or the things kids want, but parents don’t want to pay for.
High school kids earning their own money might also learn about making goals and doing the things necessary to get there, such as working hard at a job to make enough money to buy a car, or better yet, to go to college and make something of themselves instead of expecting parents to take care of them their whole lives.
Also, though there may not really be any facts to substantiate a claim that when high school kids find a job and then hold on to it, there does seem to be some evidence to support the notion that they are generally more self-sufficient, more mature and just all around more realistic people. This is because it takes initiative to get a job, and the know how to convince someone to hire you. Then, it takes responsibility and a certain degree of maturity to do what needs to be done to hold on to that job. Kids that do so are generally the very same ones that tend to do well in college as well.
And, if all that isn’t enough, high school kids that get and hold on to a job also seem to be more likeable, more reasonable and more humble in their dealings with other people, particularly those that are older than them. This may come about as they learn to respect the people they work for and as they come to see that working for the money you spend is something to be honored and those that give them the opportunity are to be appreciated and respected.