In a tweet on Thursday evening, Trump praised Scalia's experience as a lawyer "with great experience working with labor and everyone else."
Politico first reported earlier on Thursday that Trump would likely tap Scalia for the role.
Scalia, 55, if confirmed by the U.S. Senate, would replace Alex Acosta.
Acosta said last week he would step down, after an outcry over his handling of a sex abuse case involving financier Jeffrey Epstein when Acosta was a U.S. prosecutor in Florida. Epstein was arrested in New York on new federal sex-trafficking charges on July 6.
Scalia is a partner at a Washington-area law firm where he specializes in labor and employment matters. He was previously the top lawyer for the Labor Department.
As a lawyer, he has challenged tighter U.S. financial regulations, a rule that forced energy companies to disclose payments made to foreign governments, and an order that required more distance between orcas, or killer whales, and humans after the death of a marine life trainer at SeaWorld Entertainment.