This study measures inequality of opportunity in earnings of different types of workers living in urban locations by using methodology similar to those developed in Ferreira and Gignoux (Review of Income and Wealth 57: 622–657, 2011) with household-level data taken from Periodic the Labour Force Surveys. In calculating the index of unequal opportunity, we use ex ante concept of equal opportunity, and gender, social status and parent’s education as circumstance variables. Shapley decomposition is performed to find out the relative roles of the circumstance variables in unequal opportunity in earnings. This empirical exercise reveals that a substantial part (nearly one-fourth) of total earning inequality is accounted for by inequality of opportunity in urban India. Parental education plays a significant role in contributing to unequal opportunity for regular salaried and self-employed workers, and gender difference is very much important in explaining unequal earning opportunity for casual wage workers. © 2022, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Indian Society of Labour Economics.