Bucking a national trend of declining labor union membership, California's unions saw a tiny uptick in 2012, according to a new report from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Nationwide, the proportion of wage and salary workers belonging to unions dropped from 11.8 percent in 2011 to 11.3 percent in 2012, the BLS said, but in California, it increased from 17.1 percent to 17.2 percent.
California was one of just 14 states that saw union gains. That translated into an increased in union membership from 2.4 million to 2.5 million, the majority of them state, school and local government employees.
New York has the nation's highest union membership proportion, 23.2 percent, while North Carolina has the lowest, 2.9 percent. California's rate is fifth highest behind New York, Alaska, Hawaii, Rhode Island and Washington state, but the Golden State's number of union members is by the far the largest of any state.
PHOTO CREDIT: This Feb. 28, 2011 file photo shows protests at the state Capitol in Madison, Wis. The nation's labor unions suffered sharp declines in membership last year, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said Wednesday. (AP Photo/ Andy Manis, File)