Anyway, I have always wondered why I don't see more teenagers working in DC. Well I got a link from DC Lawyers for Youth (DCLY), and their handbook (PDF). Looking at page 12 it says a kid must be at least 14 years old and can't work more than 8 hours a day. Fine and good. However the work hours are limited for 16-17 year olds in that they can't work after 10pm, so they can't close up at a place that closes at 10PM, and those hours appear to be year round. Also, they would need a permit from DCPS to work. When I was growing up we didn't need no stinkin' work permit.
So now I see why teenage employment seems to be limited to DC government sponsored summer programs. That and the flood of immigrant and college student labor.
The job I held in high school was good for me. It taught me how to balance work and school, a very useful skill when doing the same thing in college when you really need the money. It also allowed me to work towards a savings goal of a senior European trip, because heaven knows I wasn't going to get that money from my parents... and college. Lastly, believe it or not I was able to use my 5 years of cashiering experience on resumes for jobs involving customer service. It has appeared in KSAs when showing that I can communicate verbally with a variety of people.