This study uses survey data collected from five large cities in China to describe and decompose the earnings difference between female and male workers. The results indicate that the main source of lower earnings for females lies in unequal pay within sectors, and that the earnings gap due to differences in sectoral attainment is relatively small. The results also reveal that most of the gender earnings differential is attributable to sex discrimination rather than to the gender difference in the endowment of human capital. Therefore, eliminating discrimination against females within individual sectors is effective in narrowing the gender earnings gap.