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I am looking to see if recessions affect the unemployment rate in capital cities differently than the state as a whole. I have the data for the unemployment rate each month from January 2007 to July 2008 of all 50 states, their capitals, and the capital metropolitan area. I primarily am looking to see if one lags behind another (ex. capital unemployment rate on average drops slower than the states), or if one has more drastic changes than another (ex. state's unemployment rate on average drops more than capitals).

As you can probably tell by my vocabulary, I am a complete amateur at statistics, but any help in pointing me in the right direction would be appreciated. Also, could such analysis be done using Excel? Thanks in advance.

What my data looks like if I confused anyone:

                    Jan-07  Feb-07  Mar-07  Apr-07
Arizona              3.8    3.7     3.7      3.5
Arizona Capital      4.3    3.8     3.6      3.4
Arizona Capital M    3.7    3.3     3.1      2.9
Arkansas             5.2    5.2     5.2      5.3
Arkansas Capital     5.3    5.4     4.9      4.8
Arkansas Capital M   4.9    5.0     4.5      4.4
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I'm not an expert on time-series, so someone else will have to help you, but I suspect what you want to do is vector auto-regression, there are also a couple of questions on that topic already on CV which you can find by searching on the var tag. –  gung Oct 28 '12 at 1:40
thanks for the help, I will look into it more –  Nolan Lozinski Oct 28 '12 at 1:49
No problem. Also, I doubt you will be able to do anything sufficiently sophisticated w/ Excel. You may want to purchase other software, or learn R, which is free, but will require some up-front effort to learn. –  gung Oct 28 '12 at 2:10

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