Some questions may have been escalated to other categories such as Escalation - Only moderators with access to these areas will see those questions that need specialist help that cannot be answered in the Community generally. Hence there are possibly a number of questions in the background that you have not access to and the total number of unanswered questions will include those.
So, there are some questions for which non-moderators may not see, except for seeing the number of them.
That is at best convoluted. At the worst it is intentionally showing non-moderators that FamilySearch doesn't consider them even potentially able to answer certain questions. I hope that is not the case, or anywhere close to it.
Why isn't the process of escalation transparent?
There are many reason to escalate a question, most are for specialized departments. as an example a form needs to be submitted, so the question is escalated. Might be a specific technical problem that needs Tech support. could be a printer problem that needs to be escalated to the proper area. These are just some examples of why a question has been escalated. Not all questions can be answered in the forum. As was stated above some questions need specialists answering them. It is not meant to suggest non-moderators cannot answer questions,
I hope this answers some of your concerns.