Usually, if you get laid off, you will probably qualify for unemployment compensation. A prior job probably won't matter because they will most likely bill your current employer's account if you get laid off.
If you can make more by providing labor input to the economy, why would you want to make less on unemployment, all things being equal? If you get another temp. job, why would you need unemployment? You shouldn't have to deal with the public sector if you can still find work.
In many cases, if you voluntarily quit without cause, you may be denied unemployment compensation. In a case where you get laid off and need to take some time off for personal reasons, then you may want to consider unemployment compensation. However, since unemployment compensation, as we currently know it, is not an adequate social safety net, you may want to only do that as a last resort.