W-2 or 1099? 3 Steps to Help You Understand the Difference

Whether you’re adding gig work or freelancing with your “regular” work, finding jobs through a staffing agency, or just getting started on your taxes – it can be confusing to know which employment tax form to complete.

January 28, 2021
Two papers labeled W2 and 1099

Whether you’re adding gig work or freelancing with your “regular” work, finding jobs through a staffing agency, or just getting started on your taxes, it can be confusing to know which employment tax form to complete.

When comparing different forms, a common question asked is “Am I filling out the right one?” While your employer determines this when you first start working with them, it helps to know some of the key differences between a W-2 employee and a 1099-MISC worker.

The easiest differentiator between the two types of workers is whether taxes are withheld. Workers using a 1099-MISC form are considered self-employed independent contractors. Social Security and Medicare taxes are not withheld and 1099-MISC workers are required to pay their own taxes, the “self-employment” or “SE” tax.  W-2 employees have a percentage of each paycheck withheld by their employer and a portion of their employment taxes are paid for by the company. (For more information, consult the IRS and read more on their website.)

So what are other differences between 1099-MISC and W-2 employees? PeopleReady shares three key points to keep in mind.

Behavioral Control

Does your boss control what type of work you do, when, and how you do it? If yes, the company has behavioral control, most likely deeming you a W-2 worker. If you work through a staffing agency like PeopleReady, you could be a W-2 employee with the agency. 1099-MISC workers do not have a boss they must report to, but they are required to find their own jobs and clients, create their own contracts, and manage their tax deductions.

Financial Control

Financial control applies to how a worker is paid. In many W-2 scenarios, the employer decides when the worker is paid and for how much. A 1099-MISC independent contractor will define their payment through various contracts dependent on the project and clients they work with.

Relationship with Employer

Do you have set length of time you’ll work for the employer- maybe a few shifts or a set several weeks? Or is your time of employment indefinite, as there are no plans on you leaving? Each of these factors can help determine the type of relationship, whether you’re an employee or independent contractor. Working through a staffing agency can influence this: you may be a W-2 employee through the staffing agency, being connect to jobs for an outside customer or business. You may be a W-2 employee for the agency, since you will work with them for an indefinite period of time.  It’s always a good idea to double check with your recruiter or agency representative if you’re not sure of your employment type, or with a finance expert if you have questions about your tax situation.

Ready to make money doing the jobs you want, when you want? Here’s where to start

Use JobStack to Find Jobs Safely This Winter Season

What does it mean to work with a staffing company that can help you find work safely and feel secure in your job search? See how PeopleReady is committed to your safety with our app, JobStack.

January 26, 2021

What does it mean to work with a staffing company that can help you find work safely and feel secure in your job search? See how PeopleReady is committed to your safety with our app, JobStack.

"Use JobStack for Winter Safety" infographic

5 Indicators That You Need Staffing Help

Ensuring you have the right talent to get the job done well is part of the foundation of success—but what if you feel like you’re struggling to find the workers you require? Get expert advice here.

January 16, 2021
Woman holding paper turning from a white baord

You’re running a business—and you want it to move as efficiently, effectively, and excellently as possible. To do this, you’re looking for the best ways to operate, at the lowest cost possible. Whether in advertising, production, or HR—figuring out what makes sense for your bottom line and the wellness of your operations is crucial…and your recruiting is no different. Ensuring you have the right talent to get the job done well is part of the foundation of success—but what if you feel like you’re struggling to find the workers you require?

If you notice any of the following, it might be time to see how a staffing company can support your needs.

You’re stretched too thin.

When you’re busy posting ads for jobs, following up with interviewees, calling references, and reviewing resumes—you find you have less time to do the things your business needs to succeed. If you’re unable to attend to the core responsibilities and functions of your role, you will see the numbers slide. As the owner or manager, it’s vital your attention be focused on the activities that keep revenue flowing instead of being sidelined by finding workers you need.

You have a limited hiring budget.

Some businesses might have resources for every department to have the expertise needed, but many don’t. One of those areas that may lack is recruiting, making it difficult to know the best ways to attract and retain quality workers—meaning the risk of losing money on a less-than-stellar employee is higher. Instead of hiring a permanent employee and managing the cost of onboarding and potentially off-boarding, consider working with a temporary worker who can help get the work you need to be done without taking on long-term hiring costs.

Your turnover rate is climbing.

High turnover leads to a slew of negatives including loss of time and money, disruption in your workflow, and poor morale among existing employees. If you’re noticing that turnover is higher than usual, or that you’re not able to keep employees very long, it’s likely you’re onboarding the wrong people for the job repeatedly. Working with a staffing partner can help alleviate the stress of hiring workers who don’t fit and know how to connect workers with your company who have staying power.

Your productivity is lacking.

Loss of productivity ultimately impacts your bottom line. If you’re noticing low productivity in your operations, you’re going to feel it in the numbers too. Quality workers can help get your output levels back to where they need be, but finding them can be difficult. A staffing partner can help supplement your workforce with workers who can get the job done the right way, when you need it done.

Your team needs more help.

Whether you’re constantly trying to fill empty positions or simply have too much work for your full-time employees to complete, a short-staffed company is going to feel the effects—and so will your customers. You might be dealing with the flu season or holidays or too many people out on vacation, but with access to a robust workforce through a staffing company, your business won’t feel the pinch of a skeleton crew. Not only will your employees be grateful for the extra hands on deck, but you’ll also be able to deliver on the goods and services you promise to your consumers.

If any of these scenarios feel familiar, it’s worth looking into staffing help. Rather than struggle finding the temporary labor you need, let experts like the ones at PeopleReady who understand the industry and the workers behind it help get your workforce running to its full potential.

Avoid These 4 Common Workplace Injuries

Safety first.

It’s not just a catchphrase, it’s a guiding principle here at PeopleReady—and hopefully, it’s top of mind for you whenever you head out to any job.

January 14, 2021

Worker in a safety harness walking

Safety first.

It’s not just a catchphrase, it’s a guiding principle here at PeopleReady—and hopefully, it’s top of mind for you whenever you head out to any job. After all, every job involves some safety risks, though some more than others. That’s especially true in the warm summer months.

We’re not trying to scare anyone, but we do want to stress the importance of staying alert and exercising caution on a job site. Your safety is always our top concern—and for good reason: There are several injuries that can put you in harm’s way and keep you from working. Obviously, no one wants to get hurt, and no one wants to spend days, weeks, or even months recovering.

To help you keep an eye out for safety hazards, we’ve put together a list of common workplace injuries that keep workers out of commission:


Overexertion might be the first workplace injury to come to mind since it’s usually among the most common. Think of a worker hurting their back moving a heavy box. These injuries happen regularly because they can result from mistakes we all make when we’re fatigued or distracted, like not following the age-old wisdom of lifting with your legs, not your back.


Workplace falls are typically separated into two categories: falls from heights and falls on the same level. Falls from heights (or between floors) occur when a worker falls from a higher location like scaffolding or a roof. Falls on the same level can occur when you slip or trip over an object. In many cases, the easiest way to prevent falls is just to be alert.

Repetitive Motions

These injuries might sneak up on you because they’re not the result of a big event. They occur after repeatedly performing a small, seemingly innocuous task over and over again. The wear and tear on your muscles builds up over time and eventually you find yourself with an injury or condition (such as carpal tunnel syndrome) from overuse.

Cuts, Punctures or Scrapes

We spend a lot of time stressing the importance of personal protective equipment (PPE), and although you might consider it obvious advice, there’s a reason for it. Common injuries like cuts, punctures, and scrapes are largely preventable if you’re wearing the appropriate gear. These accidents occur when you’re not protected or you don’t have control of an object because you’re not wearing the proper equipment.

Now you know some common workplace injuries. So what are some tips to keep in mind to stay safe when you’re on the job site?

  • Always wear the appropriate PPE
  • Pay attention to your surroundings
  • Report any safety concerns
  • Don’t perform any task if you don’t feel properly trained or protected
  • If you experience any injury (even if it seems harmless), report it immediately.

How to Find Jobs Quickly With JobStack

These four easy steps are the best way for job seekers to make the most of JobStack and find jobs quickly and easily.

Man on his phone

Remember life before smartphones and apps? Yeah, neither do we. The joke that there’s an app for everything feels like a lifetime ago. Now, there truly does seem like to be an app for everything, ranging from the silly to the essential. There are even apps to help you manage your apps.

Luckily, there are also apps that let you conveniently find work. One example is JobStack, which lets you find on-demand work when and where you want it.

You’re probably wondering, “I already have a lot of apps—why is JobStack worth the coveted space on my home screen?” Simply put: You can find jobs more quickly than ever before just by taking steps you’re already taking. It’s no extra work on your part, but you’ll see great results.

Reggie Davis, a user of JobStack, says, "Jobstack matches me perfectly with jobs that are closer to me and shows us important information about the job that we are going to. In the morning before work, Jobstack will send me an alert to inform me that my job is about to begin and it has a notification letting the staff know I've arrived. I don't have to do anything but accept the job offer and go to work."

Here are 4 ways to use JobStack to speed up your job search:

  1. Apply to PeopleReady
    Once you’ve applied to PeopleReady and passed the review process, you’ve got the green light to start using the JobStack app. Why do we do it this way? Because we want to get the screening process out of the way so that you don’t have any delays once you start using the app. The good news is that if you’ve already used PeopleReady to find work, you’re ready to go!
  2. Accept jobs
    One of JobStack’s most innovative features is how it learns what jobs are the best match for you. It’s quite simple: The more jobs you accept, the more it understands which gigs you prefer. So over time your JobStack experience is truly unique to you, which means you spend less time browsing through jobs that don’t interest you.
  3. Ace the gig
    The app lets employers give feedback on your performance, which factor into your overall rating. Workers with low ratings because they didn’t show up to the job or who didn’t perform won’t receive job offers via JobStack, but workers with positive feedback will have more opportunities come their way. Don’t forget: The app also lets you give feedback on the jobs you take.
  4. Follow your own schedule
    The benefit of using an app to find work is that it’s always ready when you need it (and it’s still ready when you don’t need it). And since you don’t need to go into a branch to accept jobs or submit hours, you get to create the schedule that works for you.

Top 4 Apps for Auto Auctions

With so much to see on the lot, speed and efficiency are key for a seamless auto auction experience.

January 2, 2021
Smart phone previewing apps list

With so much to see on the lot, speed and efficiency are key for a seamless auto auction experience. Here are the top 4 apps to help buyers and sellers get the most out of their auto experience, according to PeopleReady.

  1. TradeRev: Can’t make it on auction day? Don’t worry, TradeRev has you covered. Designed as a mobile auction, TradeRev gives sellers the power to launch live, on-hour, real-time auctions from the palm of their hands. The app then gives buyers the ability to purchase vehicles, add transport, and research payment options, creating a complete end to end experience.
  2. Autoniq: Heading to an auction? Use Autoniq to prepare. The app provides pricing guides, market reports, vehicle histories, and a VIN scanner all in one convenient app. The app also shows auction run lists, making it easy for buyers to know which auction to visit.
  3. Evernote: Get ready for auction day by getting organized. Evernote allows users to take and upload notes, pictures, audio and video snippets into notebooks. Keep track of which cars arrive in transport and what run number they are assigned. Evernote allows you to share your notebooks with others, making it easy for your whole team to get organized.
  4. JobStack: Auction day can best be described as managed chaos. You know exactly how many workers you need to your lanes run efficiently. Whether you have a few lanes or more than 25, staffing is a priority. Use JobStack to find workers 24/7 to ensure your lanes never dry up on auction day.

Hospitality: Finding the Right Job for You

The hospitality industry has a wide range of job opportunities available from entry level to experienced. See how you can get your foot in the door or advance your career!

January 1, 2021
Illustrations of three hospitality workers

Sprawling ballrooms. Cheering crowds. Last-minute reservations. Perfectly-placed parsley. Hot towels, mud masks, and iced water. What do all of these things have in common? They’re all different aspects of the hospitality industry. While a fanatic crowd might be very different from a tranquil spa, they both fall into the realm of hospitality work and are perfect examples of the field’s diverse jobs. Which setting do you prefer, and what’s the right hospitality job for you?

You’ll find hospitality workers in hotels, restaurants, cruise lines, theme parks, stadiums, theaters, and casinos. While many are customer-facing like reception, ticketing, and hosting, there are behind-the-scenes positions like sales, kitchen staff, and cleaning. Hospitality has a wide range of opportunities from entry level to highly experienced, which means there are ample opportunities to get your foot in the door or advance in your already successful career.

What are some of the jobs PeopleReady connects workers with?


As the person setting the scene for guests to come, your primary focus is getting guests’ rooms and the areas they’ll be staying in tip-top shape. Creating a welcoming space isn’t easy for everyone, so take those hours of interior decorating and makeover TV shows and put them to use! Some housekeeping responsibilities include:

  • Making beds, replenishing linens, cleaning rooms and halls.
  • Cleaning areas as assigned by supervisor.
  • Vacuuming rugs, carpets, upholstered furniture, and draperies.
  • Dusting and polishing furniture and equipment.
  • Washing windows, walls, ceilings, and woodwork.

Culinary Staff

A delicious meal can make a huge difference to any experience. You might start by preparing the food—chopping and dicing to make sure the meal service runs smoothly. You could be cooking – roasting, frying, sautéing, and basting each dish to perfection. Your duty may be plating the food that makes people happy. Or, you might be helping to ensure the kitchen is a safe, organized place to ensure freshness and quality. All are vital in a great dining experience for guests – regardless of whether you’re serving fried pickles or filet mignon. Some culinary staff responsibilities include:

  • Preparing and cooking food according to recipes.
  • Observing and testing foods to determine if they are cooked sufficiently.
  • Storing food at correct temperatures in order to ensure freshness.
  • Utilizing blenders, cutlery, and ovens to prepare food.
  • Making sure the area is clean and all quality and sanitation standards are met, including cold and hot storage.

Event Staff

There are many arms of hospitality in events and venues. Event day can look different for each type of occasion, but one thing that remains consistent is the need for self-starting, adaptable people who enjoy being in the heart of activity. Some event staff responsibilities include:

  • Greeting customers and taking orders for food and beverages, as instructed by supervisor.
  • Taking pride in the details of customer service.
  • Ensure departments are fully stocked with food, drinks, utensils, glassware, paper products.
  • May conduct transactions by accepting payment by cash, check, credit or debit cards, vouchers, then issuing receipts, refunds, credits, or change due to customers.
  • Assisting with event setup, cleaning, and dismantling, based on requests from supervisor.

More about Temporary Work

From property managers to janitorial associates to cooks to event concession associates, we help people looking for jobs in exciting industries when you want them and where you want them. Hands-on experience in different roles can be a major asset when job searching as well: a report from the American Staffing Association shows that 9 out of 10 people who worked with a staffing agency say that temporary work made them more employable. We have opportunities to gain experience in a number of careers you’re passionate about and give you access to jobs easily, through over 600 local branches and our easy-to-use, mobile app JobStack!

Do you think you have the right chops for hospitality?

3 TrueBlue Leaders Named to SIA’s Global Power 150 – Women in Staffing List 2020

Three TrueBlue executives were honored by Staffing Industry Analysts for their innovation and leadership.

November 17, 2020

Women in staffing infographic

TACOMA, WA—November 17, 2020—TrueBlue is pleased to announce that three of its leaders have been named to Staffing Industry Analysts’ (SIA) list of “Global Power 150 Women in Staffing.” This is the sixth year SIA has released this list, which recognizes female leaders and influencers from around the world and spotlights the contributions and influence of women in the staffing industry.

The TrueBlue executives featured this year include:

Taryn Owen serves as president of TrueBlue’s industrial staffing powerhouse PeopleReady, which puts nearly 300,000 people to work each year. An innovative leader, Owen is spearheading PeopleReady’s digital transformation in the on-demand staffing arena with its cutting-edge JobStack™ platform—winner of the 2020 top Mobile Site and App Award at the American Business Awards. Before joining PeopleReady, Owen led TrueBlue’s PeopleScout through an era of extraordinary global growth and the launch of its state-of-the-art Affinix™ talent technology. Owen has been widely recognized for her industry leadership with numerous awards, including annual appearances on the Staffing Industry Analysts’(SIA) Staffing 100 list and the HRO Today HR Superstars list. Known for empowering others to create solutions and challenge limits, Owen was named the 2019 Multiplier of the Year for the U.S. She has received a Gold Stevie Award for Female Executive of the Year, a Gold American Business Award for Executive of the Year, a Silver Stevie Award for Woman of the Year – Business Services, a Women World Award for Female Executive of the Year – Business Services—and was named a Woman of the Year by the Golden Bridge Business and Innovation Awards. This is her fourth consecutive year on the list.

Jill Quinn serves as president of Centerline Drivers, a premier driver staffing services company employing more than 4,000 drivers annually. Centerline’s corporate workforce is 60% women and its leadership team is composed of 50% women—one reason Quinn was named one of the Top Women to Watch in Transportation by Women in Trucking (WIT) in 2020. Centerline was also named to WIT’s Top Places for Women to Work in Transportation list in both 2019 and 2020. A longtime promoter of driver safety, Quinn led efforts to ensure drivers were informed and prepared during COVID-19, as Centerline supplied over 10,000 masks along with gloves, hand sanitizer and other cleaning items for its drivers to use to disinfect their truck cabs. Quinn’s dedication to health and safety is matched only by her passion for connecting people to work and building a positive employee culture. An accomplished leader, Quinn took on the additional role of executive leader of PeopleReady Skilled Trades in September 2020. She also sits on the Board of Governors of the National Private Truck Council. This is her third appearance on the list.

Loree Lynch serves as the senior vice president of operations for Staff Management | SMX, which specializes in on-site management of scalable, contingent workforces across North America. A trailblazer in the staffing industry as a founding partner of Staff Management | SMX, Lynch pioneered the idea of on-site staffing and grew it into an international business that connects people and work across North America. As senior vice president in charge of Staff Management | SMX’s Centralized Services function, she combines workforce development, recruiting, onboarding, safety, and data analysis to illustrate to clients how best to staff their supply chain functions—while ensuring that associates have a positive experience from interviewing through hiring and onboarding to their day-to-day work. She helps cultivate positive interactions between associates and the client so that processes run smoothly and productivity remains high. Lynch steered the company through its safety response to COVID-19 for associates, clients and employees. She also leads the company’s work to provide ongoing training and development to all service and management leaders. This is her third consecutive year on the list.

“At TrueBlue, we are fortunate to have incredible women in leadership at every level of our organization—from the frontlines to our executive team,” said Patrick Beharelle, CEO of TrueBlue. “The inclusion of Taryn, Jill and Loree on this prestigious list shows the tremendous impact of these inspiring leaders, and many others like them, both within our company and the industry as a whole. It also emphasizes the importance of continuing to drive greater diversity, equity and inclusion at TrueBlue and throughout the staffing industry.”

“The Global Power 150 – Women in Staffing 2020 are redefining leadership in their decisions, their compassion and their service to their teams and communities,” said Subadhra Sriram, Editor & Publisher, Media Products at SIA. “In a year rife with disruption and with ripple effects disproportionally impacting women and communities of color, this year’s honorees are steadfast in their commitments to diversity and to building resilient and inclusive organizations as they take their businesses, and the ecosystem, forward.”


TrueBlue (NYSE: TBI) is a leading provider of specialized workforce solutions that help clients achieve business growth and improve productivity. In 2019, TrueBlue connected approximately 724,000 people with work. Its PeopleReady segment offers on-demand, industrial staffing, PeopleManagement offers contingent, on-site industrial staffing and commercial driver services, and PeopleScout offers recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) and managed service provider (MSP) solutions to a wide variety of industries. Learn more at www.trueblue.com.

Media Contact         

David Irwin

TrueBlue Communications Director



5 Resume Tips That Job Seekers Should Know

Here are some tips to help you shine and overcome some resume obstacles—and prove to your future employer that you’re their ideal candidate.

November 7, 2020

Hand writing on paper

You may not have a lot of prior experience, or maybe there are gaps in your employment. Here are some tips to help you shine and overcome some resume obstacles—and prove to your future employer that you’re their ideal candidate.

Write Concisely

Regardless of your experience,  make sure your resume is easy to understand. Communicate well and make it readable, and don’t use wacky fonts or design styles. Be sure to use proper job titles. For example, using “Refuse Dispensing Engineer” or “Waste Management Professional” may make it confusing for the potential employer to understand. Be sure to format your resume correctly, align all of the columns and ensure it was written in an acceptable “resume style.” Clean and concise is best.

Use Proper Grammar

Any resume should be error-free. If you are not a great speller/writer, be sure to have another set of eyes proofread for spelling and grammatical errors. Even the best writers make mistakes. That’s why authors have editors.

Use Relevant Keywords

Be sure that you are including keywords that best fit your experience, beefing up your most recent positions. If you were a warehouse worker, be sure to add a sentence or two about some of the tasks that you performed. Employers will be looking for keywords that fit the jobs they have available and the more detailed your resume, the better your chances of landing an interview.

Focus on Skills 

What skills have you learned and gained from your past experiences that you can bring to a future employer? More important than titles, more important than the names of the companies where you worked in the past, are the skills you will bring with you.

Share Your Experiences

Some opportunities may not seem like a good fit at first, but be open to different levels of work. Be clear on what you can do, and what jobs you want going forward. This type of information can easily be added as your opening resume objective. Your experience in a different industry than the one you are applying for may apply nicely. Don’t be afraid to acknowledge that you may be new to the industry, but are confident in your ability to transfer your skills from previous experience.

Define Your Past Positions

Have you had a large reduction in responsibility? For example, were you previously a plant manager but in your most recent position, a retail sales clerk? Potential employers may wonder what happened. Just be prepared to explain why. Were you looking to try something new? Did you get laid off and needed to find something else rather quickly? Be upfront about topics that some employers may perceive as a concern.

Demonstrate Commitment

Employers want to see that you have stayed long enough at previous employers to add value, learn new skills, and build longevity and loyalty with the company. Too many job shifts in too short a time period may suggest that you won’t stick around for them either. Also: Are there gaps in your employment? Be prepared to have a conversation about this during an interview or simply note this in your resume. Employers want to hire those who are going to commit to their company.

You have unique talents and gifts that will be an asset to some lucky employer. Follow these tips, and let your resume rise above the rest. At PeopleReady, we understand the interview process can be intimidating, that’s why we take pride in helping our associates prepare for the next step in their career. 

PeopleReady Analysis Reveals the Most In-Demand Holiday Jobs

To help people find those jobs, PeopleReady analyzed thousands of job postings from across the nation—and today is releasing a list of the most in-demand holiday jobs this season.

October 12, 2020
Warehouse shelves

Holiday jobs will play an even more critical role this season as near-record-high unemployment rates and an unpredictable economy continue to impact household budgets across the nation. Staffing leader PeopleReady says that with a full 60% of shoppers planning to shop less in-store[1] this holiday season due to the pandemic, the types of holiday jobs available will be affected. To help people find those jobs, PeopleReady analyzed thousands of job postings from across the nation—and today is releasing a list of the most in-demand holiday jobs this season.  

“We anticipate seeing businesses ramping up with a higher demand for e-commerce-related temporary positions, especially those in packing, shipping and production,” said Taryn Owen, President of PeopleReady. “For people who are looking for work, there are jobs available. Job seekers just need to know what types of jobs are in demand, and should consider tapping into digital platforms to connect with those jobs more efficiently.”

Based on PeopleReady’s analysis [2], the most in-demand jobs this holiday season include:

  • Warehouse associates (ex: forklift operators, shipping and receiving)
  • Customer service representatives
  • Production workers (packaging, material handlers)
  • Stockers and order fillers
  • Retail workers (ex: truck loaders and unloaders)

To make it easy for job seekers to connect with thousands of available jobs, PeopleReady is holding a nationwide holiday hiring rush event this week. PeopleReady has a variety of ways for job seekers to access potential job opportunities: via app (JobStack), online (www.jobs.peopleready.com) and in-person (at all PeopleReady branches across the nation).

[1] Radial, Inc, survey 2020

[2] Data from labor market analytics firm Emsi

PeopleReady specializes in quick and reliable on-demand labor and highly-skilled workers. PeopleReady supports a wide range of blue-collar industries, including construction, manufacturing and logistics, waste and recycling, and hospitality. Leveraging its game-changing JobStack platform and 600-plus branch offices across all 50 states, Puerto Rico and Canada, PeopleReady served approximately 98,000 businesses and put more than 221,000 people to work in 2020.