As coronavirus-induced lockdowns forced millions of workers out of jobs, some U.S. industries -- from shipping to online learning -- are hiring tens of thousands to meet demand related to Covid-19.

Workers who can perform tasks such as stocking grocery store shelves or delivering takeout food are highly sought after. Between them, Instacart Inc., Inc. and Walmart Inc. say they plan to hire about half-a-million employees in coming months.

But the big demand often comes with high risk and low pay.

“Non-medical essential jobs typically require workers to interact with the public and co-workers despite potential exposure to Covid-19,” said AnnElizabeth Konkel, an economist with Indeed Hiring Lab in a report released Thursday. “Presumably, the risk of infection has sapped job-seeker interest.”

Before the epidemic, postings for non-medical, essential-worker positions were growing at roughly the same rate as jobs overall, Indeed found.

However, after the country began to shut down, job postings between these groups began to diverge sharply. Through May 15, they were off only 14.7% from the comparable period in 2019, while overall job postings plunged 37.2%, according to the report.

Median hourly wages for essential jobs outside the medical field are still just $13.75 per hour, according to the report, which highlighted a “worrisome decline” in job-seeker interest.

“More money may be needed in light of the risk workers now face,” said Konkel.

This article was provided by Bloomberg News.