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

5 Skills to Be a Successful Worker During a Natural Disaster

Here are the five most important attributes that you need on the job site during the aftermath of a natural disaster.

January 14, 2021
disaster recovery worker

When communities begin to rebuild after any sort of natural disaster, support from a disaster recovery team makes an enormous difference. Businesses of all kinds begin staffing up and hiring additional help to press forward with the work that needs to be done. While any type of help, big or small, makes an impression—there are specific skills that some disaster recovery workers embody that makes them ideal for these high-impact roles. 

Do you have the traits that make for an ideal candidate to help affected communities recuperate? Here are five attributes that help make a successful worker in the aftermath of a natural disaster.

Excellent Communicator

Strong communication skills play a big part in disaster relief. Being able to properly update, convey needs, and connect with other players is key. There isn’t always much time to get a message across, so having the ability to interact and communicate well can make someone a great individual for disaster relief work. Workers with strong communication skills have the ability to engage with colleagues and people of all kinds, at different levels in the organization.


With so many moving parts and people, processes continually changing, and circumstances differing from place to place, being able to adapt in many scenarios is truly valuable. Operations may be going one way at a certain moment and a few beats later, completely change. It takes someone who can think quickly on their feet and use critical thinking paired with common sense to make strong decisions that may ultimately effect whole teams.


Processes aren’t likely to be running as smoothly as they would be under normal circumstances, potentially creating bottlenecks and delays in everything from scheduling and timing to deliveries and approvals. When operations are held up, it takes a worker with patience to weather last-minute changes well.


Sometimes the smallest items can make the biggest difference. Noticing details on a job site is imperative for all aspects from safety to accounting. Disaster recovery work includes many players doing different tasks, so keeping a keen eye on details and following instructions makes progression a lot simpler.


We never know exactly when a disaster is going to show up, which means showing up on time is especially important for workers tackling disaster recovery. There are tons of people, even whole communities, counting on your help—which means reliability and promptness is absolutely necessary when showing up for work.

Ready to use your skills to help with disaster recovery? Businesses need people like you—and PeopleReady is committed to connecting great workers with them.

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?

5 Signs You’re Meant to Work in Hospitality

If you have these five qualities, you might be the perfect fit for a job in hospitality. Plus, see what work opportunities we have available.

December 7, 2020
hospitality industry

The hospitality industry is all around us and probably responsible for many of our greatest memories. A family vacation. A trip to a theme park. A championship game. Consider this: a team of talented workers behind the scenes and on the front lines makes these experiences possible. Have you thought about becoming one of the workers who help make these unforgettable experiences come to life? If these 5 qualities sound like you, PeopleReady thinks might be the perfect fit for a job in hospitality:

1. Routine bores you.

If you don’t enjoy knowing what every hour of your day will look like when you get to work, you belong in a role that keeps you guessing. Although not every day is a roller coaster ride, you can expect to adapt and reprioritize your to-do list, whether you’re working with families on vacation, thousands of attendees at the season’s championship game, or a restaurant full of hungry patrons. No two days will be identical, and you’ll learn how to adapt to whatever surprise pops up.

2. Sitting down all day doesn’t appeal to you.

For some workers, a desk job is a dream: You enjoy your comfy chair and stay put all day. For others, the idea of being locked into one spot for a workday is unbearable. Hotel and resort workers, even staff, and restaurant personnel—just to name a few of the many hospital roles—spend most of the day on their feet.

3. You’re a people person.

A bad customer experience leaves a lasting impression that you won’t soon forget. A great customer experience is just as memorable, only we don’t often talk about it as much. Those great experiences usually involve workers who fit the label “people person.” They’re personable, able to keep conversation flowing, make the customer feel like they’re the most important person in the room, and energized by these interactions. Dealing with customers all day isn’t an easy task, but anyone who thrives in this situation belongs in hospitality, where customer service can make or break a business.

4. You can multitask.

Multitasking is essential in almost every job today, but not every job requires you to keep track of so much while you’re on the move. For example, a hotel clerk might be checking in new guests and handling requests from current guests at the same time—all without forgetting any of the necessary details. In hospitality, everything on your to-do list feels urgent—and it probably is—but the ideal worker knows how to cross off each item in an order that leaves everyone happy.

5. Calm is your middle name.

You’ve probably gathered that working in hospitality is a busy, sometimes hectic, endeavor. Nothing is more welcome in those high-energy moments than someone with a level head. Not everyone has the ability to stay calm when they’re facing a long line of customers. If you have a reputation for keeping your cool when most people can’t, you possess a valuable skill.  

5 Traits Employers Are Looking For

See how you can turn your temporary position into a permanent one or score that big promotion with these career tips.

December 6, 2020
what employers are looking for

When you start a job, first-day jitters show up and you’re worried about making a big mistake. It doesn’t matter if it’s your first job or your 10th—it’s a universal experience. Luckily, the first day usually goes great—as do the days that come after. After all, you got hired because someone thought you could do the job well, and they’re right!

But if you don’t just want to do the job well—if you want to excel—then take a look at the qualities PeopleReady has found that employers want to see in their standout employees. They’re not groundbreaking, but they are often hard to find. Exhibit these traits and employers are likely to turn your temporary position into a permanent one or consider you for a promotion when the time comes.

1. Punctuality

Why? A team, no matter how big or small, only works when everyone is doing their part. If you’re late, that means customers are waiting or someone else is staying late to cover your shift. Or maybe without you there just aren’t enough people for work to get done. Managers have a lot to deal with on a daily basis; they don’t have time to wonder if their employees will show up to do their jobs.

2. Flexibility

Why? No one wants plans to fall apart—especially not the person in charge. But it’s going to happen, and the team should help take stress out of the situation, not add to it. A rigid mindset that refuses to budge is not helpful to anyone on the team. When you see a situation change, try to figure out what’s needed of you now and forget about your outdated plans.

3. Proactive Mindset

Why? Everyone is (hopefully) doing their jobs, but the boss is going to notice the person who does more than just their job. This doesn’t mean they want you doing someone else’s job and neglecting your duties, but they want to see someone who identifies an opportunity and offers up a solution.  

4. Communication

Why? First, many problems can be solved with a simple conversation. If you’ve ever gotten lost driving somewhere and thought, “I should’ve double checked the directions before I wasted all that time,” then you understand what can happen if you don’t communicate clearly with your boss about your work. Another reason is that there are a lot of moving parts to any business, so even the best manager can’t know everything that’s going on at all times. Your manager expects you to bring any pertinent problems to their attention and to give progress reports at the right times. They can’t help you if they don’t know what’s wrong, and they don’t want to hear the news from angry customers (or an angry boss).

5. Critical Thinking

Why? The most obvious reason a manager values critical thinking is that they have one more person helping them solve problems. Another reason is that they now know there is someone on their team they can trust. Whether that means a promotion in the future or more responsibility now, a manager doesn’t want to lose the worker who’s making their life easier. 

Building Up Women in Construction

What does today’s landscape look like for women in construction? Take a look at our infographic about diversity efforts in the industry.

February 12, 2020

women in construction

Out of over 10 million construction workers in the United States, less than one million are female—meaning that on the average job site, there is approximately 1 woman to every 10 men.

However, with a much-needed push for diversity and inclusion across all industries, construction hopes it will see more benefits of women stepping into the trade. A recent study by McKinsey shows that companies ranking in the top quartile of executive-board diversity were 35 percent more likely to outperform other companies.  Women are making a slow and steady rise in the labor aspect of construction, but see great success as they step into a variety of management roles.

Construction currently has one of the highest job placement rates and starting salaries, making it an ideal career choice for women interested in a job path with upward mobility, job security, and strong financial incentive. Not all women who end up in construction started there, either. Get a Grip Inc. founder, Sharon Dillard, segued into kitchen and bathroom resurfacing after a career in fashion using the same skills that served her in previous roles. Ciara Seger, Project Superintendent for a leading contract and construction company and features in Forbes and Procore, says “There has never been a better time to be a woman in construction.” Plentiful jobs? Well-paying positions? Numerous opportunities for advancement and growth? We’re in agreement.

So what does today’s landscape look like for women in construction?

Take a look at our infographic:

women in construction, infographic

Take Advantage of Holiday Hiring Season

Holiday hiring is in full force, with employers looking for seasonal workers. See why you want to get in the action now!

December 5, 2019
seasonal hiring, seasonal jobs

Seasonal hiring has been ramping up for months, and now we’re in the thick of the holiday frenzy. Retailers are competing for workers for roles in customer service, warehousing, distribution, and delivery more than ever.

With these trends in mind, it’s the best time for job seekers to get out and find the work they want, whether it’s a seasonal gig or getting into a position full time. What are some reasons to get out on the job hunt while the holidays are in full swing?

Extra Cash

Holiday spending increases for almost everyone, meaning it’s a perfect time to find a job that provides supplemental income. Whether you’re trying to buy extra-special gifts, winter-proof the house, entertain and party, or even just get your savings account boosted for the new year – you can work different shifts to make up for the additional expenses.

Boost Your Skill Set

With so many types of businesses hiring, you have plenty of opportunities to learn new skills in industries you haven’t yet explored. Curious about what a career in hospitality might look like? Or maybe you want to get behind the wheel of a delivery truck? It’s a great time to explore different roles and learn while on the go. You’re not limited to retail, so get out there and find out where you shine!

Suit Your Schedule

With so many types of jobs and positions open, you’re bound to find something that fits your ideal schedule. Not a morning person? Choose shifts later in the day so you can enjoy sleeping in and work when you’re at your best! Prefer to get your day started with the sun? Start an early gig and be done in time to take care of everything else important to you later in the day! With kids on winter break, do you need to rearrange your work hours to their adjusted agendas? Whatever your preference, you can find different jobs that meet your scheduling needs.

Find the jobs you’ve been looking for with PeopleReady and keep on going back to them using our JobStack app! You can find work wherever you are, whenever you want it, at whatever time you need.

The People Behind the Packages: Jobs in E-Commerce

Every day, it takes thousands of people to make sure each order gets to the customer correctly and efficiently. Is e-commerce the right career path for you?

October 31, 2019
Woman smiling carrying a package

Ask anyone and you’ll know that online shopping has revolutionized the way we buy anything and everything, from bagels to TVs. Reports show that 57% of consumers prefer shopping online and one-third of consumers say their main reason for shopping online is the ability to shop at any time from anywhere. That’s a lot of shoppers – which means a lot of packages heading to doors across the nation at any given moment. How do they all make it on time? Who’s behind the scenes making e-commerce run smoothly? 

It takes thousands of people to make sure each order gets to the customer correctly and efficiently. These people are important in ensuring customers are happy, which means businesses stay afloat, and that ensures our economy keeps moving.

If you’re curious about being part of the wave of e-commerce support, here are key roles that PeopleReady says you might consider for your next job:

Stock and Order Associates… 

help organize and move products in the warehouse so they’re organized and ready for packing. They ensure that the first steps of the shopping process run smoothly. They confirm products are in the right place and easy to find. They’ll also keep an eye out for potentially damaged goods, alerting management when necessary. Attention to detail and organizational skills are particularly handy for these roles.

Packaging Workers… 

help to get the product ready for the people! They’ll package a variety of items by hand, including labeling, inspecting products for damage, and recording what items are packed. Securely and safely packaging items helps safeguard products and reduces the amount of loss for businesses. For those who like to keep moving and have a knack for tidiness will do well in this role!

Shipping and Receiving Clerks

make sure that incoming and outgoing shipments are recorded and tracked. Their tasks can involve anything from scanning barcodes or scanners to update and control inventory. They also help guarantee that shipments are processed, input into the proper system, and items are where and when they need to be. Those with time-management and multi-tasking skills are likely to excel in these roles.

Hand Laborers… 

duties vary from warehouse and business but are absolutely necessary for helping operations run. Hand laborers might move materials to and from different production and storage areas to loading and shipping docks. They also might work in the warehouse to retrieve products from storage and move them to package and shipping areas or help to load and unload cargo from trucks and containers. This can be a great role for individuals who like to stay on their feet and enjoy a fast-paced job where no day is the same.

Order Clerks… 

typically help receive orders from customers and process payments. This can include data entry like entering customer information into the order entry system and assist with questions on pricing and shipping. Order Clerks rely heavily on computer-based programs for the job, so computer skills and agility are highly valued assets.

Operations Managers

keep operations running smoothly as they oversee many if not all of these roles. Each Operations Manager role will look different depending on the company, but many of the regular responsibilities include assigning work, scheduling employees, managing daily operations, enforcing policy, and overseeing projects. While this is a more senior role, many workers work their way up to Operations Manager positions.

Delivery and Truck Drivers… 

ensure that each order gets to the customer. Drivers are likely to drive small trucks or vans from warehouses and distribution centers to the final delivery location, whether it be for another retailer or an individual. Drivers follow a set schedule, so great time-management skills and attention to safety are highly attractive for these roles and it can be a great position for people who enjoy seeing new things, hitting goals, and problem-solving.

Customer Service Representatives… 

make sure customers stay customers. Whether answering phone calls, responding to chat messages and emails, or speaking with customers face-to-face, Customer Service Representatives are people pros. They listen to customers’ issues and help solve the problem, whether it be with a product itself, the shipping and timing of the product, the payment, and anything involved in the shopping experience. Patience and understanding are crucial for customer service reps, but it can also be an extremely rewarding role in the company.

Interested in learning more about where you might fit into the world of online shopping? Connect with PeopleReady to see which jobs we have that will be a perfect fit for you. 

How to Use Temp Experience to Get Ahead

Today’s workers are in uncharted territory. See how the gig economy is shaking up the way we live and work.

May 30, 2019
Illustration of woman looking up holding a sheet of paper.

Today’s workers are in uncharted territory; technology is changing our world at a rapid pace, and the gig economy is shaking up the way we live and work. Long gone are the days when you assume the job you’re at today will be the same one you retire from in a few decades. Right now, workers like you are in the driver’s seat, and you can steer your career in a number of different directions.

This freedom to take a temp job here and a gig there allows you to work on your own terms and build the resume you want. As exciting as that is, some workers aren’t sure how to turn a work history filled with temporary gigs into a career that reflects their years of experience. If you’re having the same concerns, don’t worry.

Look back

Before deciding where you want to go, take stock of where you’ve been. Now is the perfect time to review any experience you’ve accumulated over the years. Ask yourself the following questions and actually write down the answers:

  • What skills have I gained from doing similar jobs over the years?
  • What range of skills have I gained from my variety of jobs?
  • Did I hold jobs at different levels (i.e., entry level vs. management)?
  • Were these jobs in the same industry?

Get honest with yourself

Now look beyond the job description. Each job teaches you something, even if it’s a lesson that can’t easily be listed on a resume. Ask yourself these questions to help you think about what kind of roles you want and where you want to take your career:

  • Which jobs were my favorite and why?
  • Which jobs did I dislike and why?
  • What was I good at?
  • What wasn’t I good at?
  • Where do I want to be in a few months, a year, and a few years?
  • What haven’t I tried that I want to?

Put your plan into action

Once you’ve assessed your work history and decided where you want to take your career, it’s time to get moving. One of the perks of working with a staffing company like PeopleReady is a wide variety of options to choose from and nationwide staff ready to help you.

Talk to your local branch manager about your career goals. If you want to test out different industries and try out new roles, let them know. They can help bring those opportunities to your attention and keep you in mind when they receive a work order that match your interests and skills. If you know what your long-term goal is, talk to them about it. They can explain what jobs you might want to search for in order to build the necessary experience or where it makes sense to get your foot in the door. It’s also important to keep your PeopleReady team up to date on any certifications you gain so they have the most current understanding of your qualifications. They can be your best champion, so stay in regular communication with them.

When you choose your next job, keep in mind what you want to get out of it. Sometimes you just want a paycheck and other times it’s to take one step closer to a career goal. Both are good reasons; just keep your long-term plan in mind so that overall, your gigs are working toward your goal. That’s the beauty of temporary staffing: you can build the career you want, how you want.

Debunked: 5 Myths About Skilled Trades

In case you haven’t heard, workers in the skilled trades are hard to come by—and they’re in high demand.

April 29, 2019
Worker with text that reads "Myths Debunked"

In case you haven’t heard, workers in the skilled trades are hard to come by—and they’re in high demand. With all the talk of automation and historically low unemployment rates, you might have missed the ongoing search for skilled workers. Skilled trades workers aren’t entering the workforce quickly enough to keep up with demand. One of the reasons is because many workers have some misconceptions around the skilled trades industry. Luckily for you, PeopleReady Skilled Trades here to give you the facts. Explore five common myths about skilled trades and the truth behind them.

Myth 1: “These jobs don’t pay well.”

Truth: Skilled trades positions offer a variety of wages, and like other industries, the more experience you have, the likelier you are to earn more. But that’s not the only factor to consider: the size and scope of the project you work on can affect your pay. For example, working for a company that has a contract with the government could pay more than a role that works on short-term or smaller projects. Still, the likelihood of earning a living wage is typically higher for those entering the skilled trades than many other careers. Another positive of the skilled trades is you don’t need to go into debt earning an expensive degree in order to begin working and earning in this industry.

Myth 2: “You can’t find work year round.”

Truth: People need plumbers, electricians, and carpenters through every season. Ask any homeowner when they last needed one of these experts; most of them will be able to give you recent examples, from varying times throughout the year. Between home renovations, household emergencies (like burst pipes), and large-scale projects, skilled trades are in demand 365 days a year.

Myth 3: “I don’t have enough experience.”

Truth: That might be true—right now. Certain skilled trades positions require certifications or hours of experience. Others allow for on-the-job training and learning. Several require formal apprenticeships, where you get hands-on experience that lets you work while gaining experience. Learn more about the requirements of a particular role before you decide not to apply; there are plenty of learning opportunities that can quickly earn you the experience required.

Myth 4: “It’s a dying industry.”

Truth: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), skilled trades professions are growing as quickly as the rest of the overall workforce, with plumbers and pipefitters growing at twice the rate. Although technology has become part of these jobs and helps make some of them safer or more efficient, it’s not replacing them entirely. These jobs need the expertise and critical thinking that only actual people can bring. If you have an electrical emergency, you want someone to show up ASAP ready to fix the problem. These jobs will continue to be vital and won’t stop growing. 

Myth 5: “It’s boring.”

Truth: Any job can be boring if it’s not the right fit for you, but skilled trades positions aren’t likely to be boring for anyone. For one thing, you’re not spending your day in a cubicle or in front a computer screen. You might find yourself in a factory, a person’s home, a high-rise, a government facility, or any number of other locations. Your day varies from project to project, so long-term repetition is unlikely. If you’re looking for a boring gig, you’re not going to find it in skilled trades.

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 490,000 people to work in 2020.