Newcomer growth up for the month and year in April

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The number of people who swapped out-of-town driver's licenses for ones issued in Clark County grew 20.6 percent in April compared to the same month in 2012, the Washington Department of Licensing reported Monday.

There were 1,079 driver's licenses exchanged for local ones in April, up from 895 licenses issued in April 2012, but down from the 1,424 licenses handed out in March. In the four months ending April 30, 4,629 drivers traded out-of-state licenses for new ones in Clark County, a 20.4 percent increase from the 3,845 newcomers who exchanged licenses in the same period last year.

Newcomer growth is often seen as a bellwether of the county's economic expansion because it indicates an influx of residents who are likely to work, buy homes, shop and eat locally.