Why do you have to give your SSN when applying for a job?

I was filling out an online job application and it asked me for my SSN. At first I was puzzled and clicked next but it wouldn’t let me move on! I then went on a frantic search at 1 am for my SSN card. Needless to say I still can find it. This is the very first job I have ever applied for so this whole process is new to me. I am 16 and need a job I know my mom has the card but I still have to ask why do they need this personal information?

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