The number of unemployed people on social security payments dropped for the second consecutive month in November, in yet another sign that Hong Kong's economy is improving. According to the figures released by the Social Welfare Department yesterday, 50,555 jobless people received Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) last month - a drop of about one per cent from the 51,071 cases in October. This marked a drop in the number of unemployed CSSA recipients for two consecutive months. The number of jobless people relying on welfare dropped in October for the first time in 30 months. But the total number of people receiving CSSA rose from 289,511 in October to 289,694 last month. Director of Social Welfare Paul Tang Kwok-wai said yesterday the number of CSSA applicants was still growing because the improvement in the economy might not bring instant benefits for all sectors of society. But Mr Tang said the growth rate of the CSSA caseload would continue to ease as the job market improved. Mr Tang said 70 per cent of the $17 billion funding earmarked for CSSA this financial year had been used and his department might have to apply to the Legislative Council for additional funding. Secretary for Economic Development and Labour Stephen Ip Shu-kwan said yesterday the jobless rate would drop slightly as the consumer market and economic atmosphere improved. 'But Hong Kong is facing structural unemployment and the problem is unlikely to be resolved in the near future,' he said.