As most of the financial market is waiting for what’s expected to be dire financial reports from retailers, most of the rest of the country is wondering what the fallout could possibly be as it pertains to unemployment. There have been some speculation that over 3 million jobs could be at stake if many large retail chains decide to call it a day, which could see national unemployment rates skyrocket into double digits, a figure that hasn’t been since since the 1980’s, when, for a 10 month period of time, the unemployment rate averaged around 10.4%.

As of November, the national unemployment rate was 6.5%, a drastic increase from last year at the same time, when it was 4.5%, but some areas of the country are already experiencing historically high unemployment rates, such as Yuma, Arizona, sitting at 17.9% in November, and El Centro, California, at 23.4%. For areas that have a population of at least a million people, Detroit-Warren-Livonia, Mich., and Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, Calif., reported the highest unemployment rates in November 2008, both at 9.5%.

It’s pretty much started already, as the ADP employment index, released earlier today, showed that around 693,000 jobs were lost in December. That’s a staggering figure, and scary at the same time, because there doesn’t seem to be any business or business types that are going in the opposite direction at the same speed. And, unfortunately, every time a report like this comes out, the stock market takes a nosedive, slightly strange because often, when companies announce layoffs, those stocks increase.

Where will it end? No one is really sure, but if, after the major fallout that’s expected to occur, it doesn’t turn around fast, or at least stabilize, it could affect quite negatively the financial stability of both the stock market and the United States for the rest of the year.