How low is low?
Which to use? For the comparison across MSAs I'll stick with the BLS calculation for the moment.
So how (relatively) low is the region's unemployment rate? The top 40 labor markets are in the graph below. The 5 places with lower unemployment rates include 2 regions with sizable presence of government jobs (Washington and Virginia Beach)... government jobs which Pittsburgh lacks.. and two regions which may top us in the proportion of higher education related employment (Boston and Austin). Leaves only Minneapolis. Their low unemployment rate must be because of all the bikes.
Yes, of course... the 'relative' unemployment rate is not really relevant to anyone individually. In reality unemployment is either zero or 100% depending on your personal circumstances. Still, how high is the region's unemployment rate? Since 1970, the region's average unemployment rate works out to be a bit over 6.6%. The nation's average unemployment rate works out to 6.4%. So we have a bit to go to reach those levels... but at (6.7 or 6.8) it is not a big jump.