Need Help

I am working on a project and I need some help.

I am comparing unemployment rates over time for three different groups. I have my data in Excel. I graphed the data and added a trend line but I would like some measures of deviation away from the trend line. Two of the groups have much more volatile unemployment but I would like some statistical way of relating that in a paper. Please let me know if you have any advice.
I think running some descriptive statistics on your three groups should accomplish what you're looking for. Specifically, finding the standard deviation for a group will show you how much the scores within that group varies. I think this is what you are looking for when you say the scores appear volatile, but I could be wrong. I'm pretty sure Excel has a standard deviation function built it. Look for it in the formula wizard.

If you want to try to prove a significant difference between the three groups, then you would probably want to run a one-way ANOVA. I'm not sure if Excel can do that, but you might check. If not, you could run it by hand using Excel to do some of the steps. You can find out how to do an ANOVA in any stats textbook or in any of a number of tutorials on the web.

Does this make sense? Am I understanding your problem correctly?