Wages, participation and unemployment are major topics for researchers of the labour market. How have these measures evolved in the economic transition of urban China? Have they evolved in accordance with those in the Statistical Yearbook of China (produced by the National Bureau of Statistics, China) and previous studies? We find that the estimated wage level based on Urban Household Survey (UHS) data was higher than that in the Statistical Yearbook in earlier years, but the relationship has reversed since 1999. Our estimated participation rate is lower than that of Giles "et al." (2006) but higher than Dong "et al." (2007) and Maurer-Fazio "et al." (2007) . The analysis shows that the unemployment rate is lower than that estimated with the China Urban Labor Survey data in Giles "et al." (2005) . Our estimation results on unemployment rates turn out to be more similar to those in Dong "et al." (2007) but are different from those in Hu and Sheng (2007). This analysis provides the first systematic comparison of the wage level from different sources, and supplements the existing estimates on participation and unemployment using a more representative dataset for urban China. Copyright (c) 2010 The Authors. Journal compilation (c) 2010 The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.