The president said he expected Alan Krueger, 50, to provide him with unvarnished economic guidance and not partisan political advice.
"That's more important than ever right now," Obama said. "We need folks in Washington to make decisions based on what's best for the country, not what's best for any political party or special interest."
Krueger is a former Treasury Department official and a Princeton economist.
If confirmed, Krueger will replace Austan Goolsbee, who left earlier this month to return to teaching at the University of Chicago.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.