I've been working on a contract for over a year and lately the amount of work available has decreased. I have been paying into unemployment through my contracting company. If the contracting company or the company I'm working at ends my contract would this be similar to being laid off and would I be able to collect unemployment?
Laws can vary from place to place, but in general you are entitled to unemployment benefits unless you leave employment voluntarily (subject to other regulations). If you had terminated a contract (or resigned from employment) that is voluntary. If your contract is ended by the other party, or your employment is terminated, that is not voluntary. If you contact whatever organization administers your unemployment benefits they will give you a definitive answer.