Wages, participation and unemployment are major topics for researchers
of the labor market. How have these measures evolved in the economic transition of urban China? Have they evolved in accordance with those in the Statistical Yearbook and previous studies? We find that the wage level has been largely understated in
the Statistical Yearbook. Our estimated participation rate is lower than that of Giles, Park, and Cai (2006) because the Urban Household Surveys (UHS) that we use include middle and small cities that are absent in their data. The unemployment
rate in the published official statistics, the most frequently doubted by researchers, turns out to be significantly biased after the mid-1990s. Our analysis shows that the
unemployment rate is much higher than that of the official statistics, but lower than that estimated with the China Urban Labor Survey (CULS) data in Giles, Park, and Zhang (2005). Our 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.