This paper asks if economic growth and steps towards a market economy have affected earnings gaps between the Han and nine large urban ethnic minorities: Zhuang, Hui, Manchurian, Tujia, Uighur, Miao, Tibetan, Mongol and Korean. It also asks how earnings premiums and earnings penalties have changed for the nine ethnic minorities. For the analysis we use a subsample of the 2005 China's Inter-Census Survey. We find examples of three different changes over time in earnings premiums and earnings penalties: One ethnic minority for whom the development has been more favourable than for the Han majority; a second category in which development has been similar; and a third category for which development has been unfavourable. We conclude from the analysis that it can be misleading to infer the experience of one ethnic minority from that of another.